Valentine’s Day is vastly approaching. Instead of giving your heart consider giving a pint of blood.

Every two seconds someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion, according to the American Red Cross. In 2006, 5 million people in the United States received blood transfusions.

The human body relies on blood to transports oxygen and nutrients to the organs of the body. Blood donors become lifesavers for individuals who have lost large amounts of blood or their blood becomes unhealthy and needs to be replaced.

Many individuals involved in accidents, needing transfusions, and those inflicted with blood cancers are among the patients that rely on blood donations to survive everyday. Currently only three out of every 100 people in America donate blood, according to the American Red Cross.

All potential blood donors must be healthy, at least 17 years old, and weigh at least 110 pounds. Additional requirements will be discussed with donors at the time of donation. Everyone receives a basic examination to check temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and hemoglobin levels.

Information regarding upcoming blood drives in your community can be found at the American Red Cross website, including frequently asked questions.

Often during blood drives large trucks are on site where volunteers are asked to lie down in recliners to have their blood drawn by health care professionals. If you would like to host a blood drive in your area, visit the American Red Cross to make a difference this Blood Donor Awareness Month and beyond.

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