By Leigh Morris
For the Star-Gazette
Members of the Virginia Masonic Lodge are asking area residents to help prevent blood shortages by donating blood this Saturday, Feb. 1.
The blood drive will run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Masonic Lodge building located on the south side of Virginia at Ill. Rte. 78 and East Street. Blood will be drawn by Central Illinois Community Blood Center staff.
No appointment is necessary to give blood this Saturday.
Donating blood is safe and easy. A donor must be 17 years old, 16 with a signed parental consent form, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. People may donate blood every 56 days, or 112 days for those who make a double red donation.
Consider this facts:
• Of those who live to the age of 72, 95 percent will need blood or blood products at some point in their lives. Yet, only five percent of the population donate blood on a regular basis.
• About 4.5 million American lives are saved each year by blood transfusions.
• Three lives are saved for every unit of blood that is donated.
• d every two seconds.
• About one in five hospital patients needs blood.
And the most important fact of all – blood cannot be made in a laboratory. Only human donors can provide the blood that saves lives.