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Exercise Your Right to Vote and Continue to Make a Difference by Giving Blood in 2008
Date:1/3/2008

January is National Blood Donor Month

BETHESDA, Md., Jan. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks) is encouraging individuals participating in the presidential elections to continue making an impact in their local communities by donating blood. Observed throughout the month of January, National Blood Donor Month (NBDM) provides an opportunity for people to donate blood or pledge to give blood at a time of the year when it is typically in short supply.

"As the presidential election approaches, we are often reminded that 'every vote counts,'" said Karen Shoos Lipton, chief executive officer of AABB. "The same is true of a single blood donation - just one pint can save up to three lives. And, as with voting, becoming a regular blood donor is an excellent way to make a difference in one's community."

With a shelf life of only 42 days, blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months when regular blood donor's schedules are adversely affected due to the holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather and illness. January, in particular, is a difficult month for blood centers to collect blood donations. A reduction in turnout can put our nation's blood inventory at a critical low. Every day in our country, approximately 39,000 units of blood are required 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.

The blood community encourages donors and potential donors to make giving blood a regular part of their lives. Those interested in donating blood are encouraged to visit http://www.aabb.org or call 1-866-FROM-YOU (1-866-376-6968) to find a local blood collection site and to schedule an appointment.

Individuals who are at least 17 years of age (some states permit younger people to donate with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and meet other donor requirements may be eligible to donate blood.

"Our goal is to help ensure that blood is available to patients whenever and wherever it is needed because it is the blood on the shelves that helps saves lives," said Lipton. "Simple actions, such as voting or donating blood, can positively affect the lives of loved ones."

For more information about National Blood Donor Month, visit http://www.aabb.org and click Donate Blood > Public Education Initiatives > National Blood Donor Month.

About AABB

Established in 1947, AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks) is an international, not-for-profit association dedicated to the advancement of science and the practice of transfusion medicine and related biological therapies. The association is committed to improving health by developing and delivering standards, accreditation and educational programs and services to optimize patient and donor care and safety. AABB membership consists of approximately 1,800 institutions and 8,000 individuals, including physicians, scientists, administrators, medical technologists, nurses, researchers, blood donor recruiters and public relations personnel. Members are located in all 50 states and 80 countries.


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