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updated: 1/9/2013 2:01 PM

Give blood and you will be giving life

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David Hass

DUPAGE COUNTY--In recognition of National Blood Donor Month in January, the DuPage County Health Department is encouraging residents to donate blood and help save lives.

Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months due to the holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather and illness. January, in particular, can be a difficult month for blood centers to collect blood donations, as approximately 15 percent of regional blood collection comes from high schools and colleges, many of which have winter recess this month.

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Once donated, blood can be separated into several components including red blood cells, platelets and plasma. A single blood donation can help save the lives of up to three people.

People can donate a pint of blood every 56 days. An adult of average weight has about 10 to 12 units of blood, so one pint is easy to spare. You may get it back someday, as one out of three people will need a life-saving blood transfusion in his or her lifetime.

Approximately every two seconds, someone needs blood. Four million Americans would die each year without it, and the only place to get this precious resource is from volunteer blood donors. Every day in the United States, approximately 39,000 units of blood are needed in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients, and to help save the lives of accident victims.

For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook.

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