How to Donate During National Blood Donor Month

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January is National Blood Donor Month, and a perfect time to start the new year off doing a service for others. Most people can safely donate up to two pints of blood every two months. The Red Cross offers a couple tips for the day of your scheduled donation. First, wear loose sleeves so you can roll them up, and stay hydrated. Be sure to bring along photo identification and a list of any medications you are currently taking. You should set aside between an hour and an hour and a half total for the donation, including filling out registration forms, having blood pressure and temperature checked, donating, and recovery. The actual donation takes about 10 minutes. However, not everyone can donate blood. You must meet the following requirements.

The Red Cross requires all donors be healthy. People with chronic conditions such as diabetes can donate if the condition is under control. You must be over age seventeen, or in some states, age sixteen with parental consent is allowed. Adults must weigh over 110 pounds, and more stringent weight requirements are in place for donors under age eighteen. You can have allergies, but cannot be recovering from any illness. You can consult the for list of conditions that will prevent you from donating. To find a donation center, check the list of locations at the , or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

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