Donating blood = Saving a life

About one of every seven people entering the hospital will need blood. Unfortunately, although nearly 40 percent of Americans are eligible to donate blood, only about 5 percent actually do.

That is why the Michigan Senate Republicans encourage healthy residents to give blood and help maintain a sufficient blood supply for patients.

This month is National Blood Donor Month, which has been observed in January since 1970 to honor blood and platelet donors and also to help increase donations during the winter months — when maintaining a sufficient blood supply for patients is difficult due to weather and seasonal illnesses that often impact donor turnout.

Donating blood takes a very short time. The actual donating process takes less than 10 minutes and the entire visit — from check-in to check-out — lasts 60 minutes or less.

If you do decide to donate, please remember to get plenty of rest beforehand, eat a good meal and avoid alcohol. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids both before and after donating.

Michigan Blood is a nonprofit blood bank that provides blood for more than 50 hospitals throughout the state. For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate, call toll-free 1-866-MIBLOOD or visit their website at: www.MiBlood.org.

The American Red Cross provides about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply. To donate, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.RedCrossBlood.org. Donors can also use the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, which can be found in app stores or at www.RedCrossBlood.org/bloodapp.