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January 20, 2010 > January is National Blood Donor month

January is National Blood Donor month

By Meenu Gupta

January 2010 has been proclaimed as National Blood Donor Month. American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region representative Edward Faso accepted the proclamation from Mayor David Smith. Of the 38 percent of the public is eligible to donate blood, less than 8 percent do so.

Blood is required daily in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients and to help save the lives of accident victims. The need is constant, especially in winter when blood is traditionally in short supply due to a reduction in donor turnout because of the holidays, busy travel schedules, inclement weather and illness which can put blood inventory at a critical low. The American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region distributes more than 130,000 pints of blood per year to help save local patients, yet fewer than 100,000 pints of blood are collected in the region annually.

Mayor Smith urged all citizens in good health to donate regularly and urged all businesses to form blood donor groups.

The American Red Cross is responding to the 7.3 earthquake in Haiti with financial assistance. Send a $10 donation by texting 'Haiti' to 90999 or to make a financial contribution online.

Red Cross is meeting any requests for blood due to this tragedy through current supplies. Blood donors are encouraged to call 1-800-RED CROSS or make an appointment at www.redcrossblood.org. Type O Negative and Type B Negative donors are especially needed. One donation may help save three lives.

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