Updated: 4:53 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, 2007 | Posted: 2:31 p.m. Thursday, April 8, 2004

9 Reasons For Donating Blood

1. Someone needs blood every 3 seconds in this country. An average of 40,000 units are needed every day in the U.S. There is no substitute for human blood.

2. 60% of the population will need blood at some time in their lives, yet less than 5% of the population donates.

3. Disasters like car accidents, fires, and other trauma cases happen every day and these patients need blood, and rarely do they need only one pint. A bleeding trauma victim can run through 100 units of blood in no time.

4. In Central Florida, because of our growing and aging population, as well as the huge expansion of health care facilities, our blood usage is growing at three times the national rate. Blood usage outpaces donor collections.

5. If all eligible donors would donate on a regular basis, four to six times a year, blood needs would be met and shortages could be a thing of the past.

6. For decades this nation relied on a large pool of blood donors from "The Greatest Generation," the heroic World War II veterans who considered blood donation to be an on-going patriotic duty. Sadly, that generation is fast disappearing and other new donors are not stepping forward to replace them.

7. Donating blood is safe and a healthy thing to do. Not only do you get a free mini physical, including blood pressure check, heart rate, temperature and iron levels, but it's the fastest way to lose a pound!

8. For men, there is a life-saving benefit to donating blood. Men are at higher risk for "hemochromatosis or iron overload" a potentially deadly problem where too much iron builds up in the blood. It can lead to heart disease and other major health problems. Research shows if men give blood 3 times a year, they can reduce their iron overload and therefore their risk of a heart attack by as much as 50%!

9. Blood donors are true heroes. In fact, your one blood donation will be broken down into several components, enabling you, with just one donation, to save up to three lives!

And, by the way, donating to Florida's Blood Centers assures the blood stays here where it's needed most. Florida's Blood Centers is the largest blood bank in the state and the fourth largest independent blood bank in the nation.

You can donate at any of their branches during business hours. For infomation on donating and the location nearest you, call 888-9DONATE or visit their Web site.

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