Monday, September 10, 2007

Give blood, wherever you are.

I just got back from my bimonthly blood donation which means it's time for my regular post on organ and tissue donation. This time, I'd like to focus on blood donation opportunities around the world. According to the Red Cross, 39 countries use only non-paid, voluntary blood donors. Here's how to donate in some of them:

* Canada: Visit the Canadian Blood Services at or call 1-888-2 DONATE (1 888 236-6283) to search for a donation center near you, join the marrow donor list, and learn more about blood, platelet, plasma and marrow donations. You can also make financial gifts online. The site is available in English and French.

* Thailand: The Red Cross in Thailand operates numerous blood donation centers across the country. Visit or call 0-2252-6116, 0-2252-1637, or 0-2252-4106-9 Ext 113, 157 to find a donation center near you. The site is available in English and Thai.

* South Africa: The National Blood Service provides a safe blood supply across the country. Visit or call 0800 11 9031 to learn about eligibility and and find a donation center.

* United Kingdom: Visit the National Blood Service at or call 0845 7 711 711 (to learn more about blood, organ, cord blood, and platelet donation. You can search or call to set up a donation appointment and contribute to a safe blood supply.

Of course there are many other places around the world where you can safely donate (and receive!) blood and blood products. I wish I spoke languages other than English so that I could post information from many other countries. Feel free to list others blood donation information in the comments. And if you're 25 or under consider joining International Club 25 which promotes regular blood donations and "positive, healthy lifestyles".

So wherever you are, consider donating blood or supporting blood donation centers in your area. It's a great way to make yourself useful and to make a difference in the lives of many people.

"I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain." – James Baldwin

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