The importance of donating blood

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January is “National Blood Donor Month.” If you have never donated blood before, it’s worth considering.

Someone in the United States needs blood or platelets every two seconds, according to the American Red Cross.

For those who have never donated, the blood donation process is relatively simple. A typical donation takes between eight and 10 minutes. Donating platelets, red cells or plasma can take up to two hours.

“There are a lot of people out there who are afraid of needles, so understandably, it can be a scary event to undertake, but it is safe, it’s very simple, it’s relatively painless – you’ll feel a little pinch. It only takes a few minutes and, again, it can be lifesaving for someone who needs a transfusion,” said Dr. Thomas Waters with Cleveland Clinic.

MORE: Blood donors: American Red Cross