Blood Donations May Help Those Doing the Donating

April 6, 2010 – Donating blood not only helps those who need blood products; it can often be helpful to those doing the donating.

Recently, many blood services have introduced new initiatives that can help blood donors discover if they might be at risk of cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

United Blood Services, which has locations in 18 states from California to the Gulf Coast and from Texas to the Canadian border, offers a “total cholesterol” test on blood donated at its centers. Donors simply need to visit about a week after donating blood and enter their donor ID number (found on their blood donor card) to access results from the test. A brochure explaining what cholesterol levels mean is also available to help donors understand the results.

New York Blood Center and Carter BloodCare (located in Texas) are among other centers that offer information about cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk factors to donors. A preliminary report from Carter BloodCare indicates that of those who participated in the screening initiative, 70% had at least one heart disease risk factor and that a majority are motivated to make chanegs to health habits as a result of the information they received.

Ready to Donate Blood?


Maintaining an adequate blood supply is important for everyone, but it is especially so for people with thalassemia.

If you are capable of giving blood, we urge you to do so. Below are websites for the major U.S. blood collection agencies. Contact them to find a blood donation location near you.

American Association of Blood Banks –

America’s Blood Centers –, 1-888-USBLOOD

American Red Cross –, 1-800-GIVELIFE

Check with your local blood service provider to find out if it offers any screening or testing services. And while you’re doing that, why not set up a time to make your next donation?

Test Your Blood IQ


1. For how long can most donated red blood cells be stored?

A. 14 days

B. 42 days

C. 106 days

D. 288 days


2. If the percentage of Americans donating blood went up by ____%, blood shortages would disappear for the foreseeable future.

A. 1%

B. 3%

C. 5%

D. 10%

3. One pint of blood can save up to how many lives?

A. One

B. Two

C. Three

D. Four



1. B. 42 days

2. A. 1%

3. C. Three



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