More Ohioans are now eligible to give the gift of life—blood.
On July 7, Gov. Ted Strickland signed House Bill 67, making Ohio the 30th state to lower the age limit for blood donors from 17 to 16.
“This legislation will permit healthy young adults to donate blood with minimal restrictions, thereby increasing the accessibility and supply of blood donations during times of need, Strickland stated in a press release.
The law allows anyone between the ages of 16 and 17 years old to donate blood with parental consent in a voluntary blood program that is not operated for profit. Individuals who are 17 or older can donate blood without parental consent.
Diane Ulrich, executive director of the Madison County chapter of the American Red Cross, applauds the legislation.
“Last year, we held three blood drives at Madison-Plains High School and one or two at each of the other schools. All had 40 to 50 donors. Being able to add another class helps us that much more, she said.
When the Red Cross hosts a blood drive at a school, they send a representative out ahead of time to sign up donors and explain the process and the requirements.
“We also educate kids on the importance of giving blood and the benefits to helping other people. If we can get them early, we usually retain them as donors for life, Ulrich said.Its a community service that only takes an hour but makes a huge impact.
Each one-pint donation of blood contains three components—red blood cells, platelets and plasma—that can be used in a variety of medical situations, including traumas, organ transplants, premature babies, blood disorders, cancer and other diseases.
Each year, 5 million people in the U.S. receive blood transfusions. Only 5 percent of the eligible U.S. population gives blood in a given year.
In addition to the age requirement, donors must be healthy and weigh at least 110 pounds. A person can donate blood every eight weeks.
For more information on blood donation, call the Madison County chapter of the American Red Cross at 740-845-9939.
The Madison County Chapter of the American Red Cross is located at 21 W. Fifth St., London. Call 740-845-9939 for details.
• July 23—Mount Sterling Community Center, 164 E. Main St., 2-8 p.m.
• July 29—Madison County Hospital, 210 N. Main St., London, noon-6 p.m.
• Aug. 11—First Presbyterian Church, 211 Garfield Ave., London, 1-7 p.m.