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American Red Cross Set to Collect Blood from 16-Year Olds with Parental Consent
Date:6/2/2009

Governor Corzine signs Bill to enable 16-year olds to give the gift of life

PHILADELPHIA, June 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine on May 6, 2009 signed new legislation which reduced the minimum age for donating blood to 16 years of age with parental consent.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081216/DC52619LOGO)

Previously, a person who is 17 years of age or older is eligible to donate blood in a voluntary and non-compensatory blood program without the permission of a parent or guardian.

The legislative change permits those 16 years of age to donate blood in a voluntary and non-compensatory blood collection program with written permission from the potential donor's parent or guardian.

"The American Red Cross is prepared to start collecting blood immediately from 16-year old donors with parental consent and welcome them as members of our life saving mission," said Brigid O'Neill-LaGier, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross, Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region.

"Reaching out to 16 year old donors will allow us to continue to maintain a stable blood supply throughout the State of New Jersey, along with showing a younger generation that donating blood is a great way to give back to the community."

Locally, the American Red Cross collects nearly 300,000 donations of whole blood and over 20,000 platelet donations each year from volunteer donors.

"The generosity of New Jersey blood donors has enabled the Red Cross to help change and save lives in our community everyday," said O'Neill-LaGier. "Every two seconds, someone needs blood and we are committed to providing accident victims, cancer patients and children who suffer from blood disorders with the safest blood possible."

Blood drives are held seven days a week in communities across the region. To make an immediate appointment for an American Red Cross blood drive this week, please call 1-800-GIVE LIFE (1-800-448-3543), or visit www.pleasegiveblood.org to find a listing of community blood drives.

Most healthy people who are at least 17 years old and weigh 110 pounds or more are eligible to donate whole blood every 56 days. Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania allow 16-year-old donors to donate blood with parental or legal guardian written consent. Donors can give blood at any one of nearly 200 blood drives sponsored by business and community groups in southeastern Pennsylvania and in New Jersey weekly, or at one of nine community donor centers.


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SOURCE American Red Cross, Penn-Jersey Region
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