Approximately every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood and 44,000 units of blood are needed every day. Since one in 10 people entering a hospital needs blood, it's important to maintain an adequate blood supply, according to the American Red Cross.
May is a time when blood donation becomes particularly important. High school and college students are often strong supporters of school-based blood drives during the school year, but not so much when they're at home during the summer. Without student participation, blood donations to the Red Cross typically fall 15 to 20 percent during the summer months.
There is no substitute that covers all the needs of human blood transfusion, says Red Cross.
Red Cross has three upcoming blood drives in Bedford County:
* Tuesday, May 8, 2-6 p.m. at First Baptist Church on Depot Street;
* Friday, May 11, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Heritage Medical Center, U.S. 231 North; and
* Thursday, May 17, 2-6 p.m. at Walmart on North Main Street.
All blood types are needed to ensure the Red Cross maintains an adequate blood supply. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 with completed Parental Consent Form). New height and weight restrictions apply to donors 18 and younger.*
Call 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information.