Donating Blood

A blood bank is a place where blood is stored for emergency use. In the United States about every two seconds, someone needs blood. That's over 43,000 people every DAY. Not long ago, people with a bad wound might have bled to death. Today, blood is donated by people. The donated blood is stored in blood banks to keep it safe for emergency use.

To donate blood, a person must be 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds. Adults have about 10 pints of blood in their bodies. When blood is donated, about one pint is taken. The process takes about 10 minutes. With the paperwork and recovery time afterwards, a person is usually in and out of the donation center in 45 minutes to one hour. January is National Volunteer Blood Donor Month.

One pint of blood can save up to three lives. A pint of blood can be separated into its different parts: red blood cells, plasma, and platelets. Donated blood can be given to a person as whole blood. Or each part can be given to three different people.

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