The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


June 4, 2014


Movies, TV shows, video games — they’re all about superheroes today. Do you ever wonder how anyone could measure up.

Well, you can. It will take only a little more than an hour of your time to become the superhero who can save a life.

All you have to do is walk into an American Red Cross blood donation center, hold out your arm and bleed.

Giving blood can be done pretty much any time, but every year, countries around the world celebrate June 14 as World Blood Donor Day.

The day raises the awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, while also thanking voluntary donors for their life-saving gift of blood.

Held on a day when summer activities are getting into full swing is also significant. World Blood Donor Day highlights the need for blood during the summer months. The American Red Cross finds the summer months to be a challenging time for getting sufficient numbers of donors as people go on vacation and participate in more activities.

Did you know that the one pint of blood you give can save three lives? The American Red Cross says there are four types of transfusable products that can be derived from blood and typically, two or three of these are produced from a pint of donated whole blood. lists all sorts of facts about blood needs — some of them might stun you.

  • Someone in the United States needs blood every 2 seconds.
  • More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day to keep up with demand.
  • A total of 30 million blood components are transfused in the U.S. annually.
  • It’s not just accident victims or surgical patients who need transfusions. There are a number of diseases that require people to need donations.

The Red Cross also says that although about 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, less than 10 percent actually do.

Donating is easy. After registering, the donor’s temperature, pulse and blood pressure are taken, along with a hemoglobin test, to make sure the donor is safe to give blood.

Then a nurse hooks you up. The actual blood donation takes 10 to 12 minutes. After the initial stick, the process should be fairly painless.

A superhero should be able to handle that!

To learn more about becoming a blood donor or to schedule an appointment to donate, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

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