Blood donations save lives; please give

If someone approached you and told you someone's life was at stake and you could save it with just a few minutes of your time, would you do it?

Giving blood saves lives, and the American Red Cross needs more donors.

For the rest of this month, the Red Cross is offering a $5 Amazon.com gift card as an incentive to give. But the real incentive should be to help others who need it.

According to a recent story by Joshua Hartwig, blood donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in, and as a result, there is now less than a five-day blood supply on hand.

Type O blood is particularly in demand, because it is universal and can be given to any patient.

The Red Cross is also hoping for platelet donations for cancer patients.

Blood supplies normally dip in the summer as regular givers often go on vacations.

Please consider donating blood or platelets.

Whole blood donation requirements

* Donation frequency: Every 56 days

* Donor must be in good health and feeling well

* Donor must be at least 16 years old in most states

* Donor must weigh at least 110 pounds

Additional donor requirements and blood drive locations may be found online at www.redcrossblood.org.