Very few eligible donors give blood, Red Cross says

June 12, 2018 - 6:16 am

The Red Cross says misconceptions about donation have a lot to do with the fact that only a tiny fraction of Americans give blood.

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs donated blood, more than seven times more often than most people believe, according to Red Cross survey statistics.

Most people do not know how often transfusions take place, said Joe Zydlo, Red Cross spokesman.

"Of the eligible donors, and I think it's about 38 percent is eligible to actually donate, there's probably about 3 or 4 percent that actually do donate," Zydlo said. "That's alarming."

A lot of people do not realize they are eligible to donate. There are only a few exclusions; when a donor is sick, when a donor has traveled or lived overseas in a country with Malaria or certain other diseases, and if the donor is on certain medications.

A full list of exclusions is available on the Red Cross website.

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