Health Alert: What you need to know before donating blood

If you are considering becoming a blood donor, there are some important factors to take into consideration.

Posted: Jan 4, 2018 7:49 AM
Updated: Jan 4, 2018 7:57 AM

According to the American Red Cross, there are about 7 million blood donors every year in the United States.

The American Red Cross says someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds. They are in critical need of O negative, which is considered a universal donor and B negative because it is so rare.

Consider these factors when determining if you are an eligible donor even if you're in good health.

You have to be at least 17-years-old in most states, 16-years-old in other states with parental consent. You also have to weigh at least 110 pounds. If you take medications, that will not disqualify you as a blood donor in most cases, according to the Red Cross. However, the reason you are taking the medication might disqualify you. A health history and physical evaluation at the donor center or a blood drive will determine that.

The process for general donations takes about 8 to 10 minutes and can save a life.

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