Donate Blood. Save lives. Get a few free tests.

And help the American Red Cross out of an “emergency” situation.

This post is an appeal for blood donations. According to an article in USA TODAY, the national blood supply of the American Red Cross is at its lowest level in 15 years—“there are half as many readily available blood products today than at the same time last year.” From the 7-28-12 article (See link below).

“In a worst-case scenario, more serious procedures — things like liver transplants that require a lot of blood — will not start until there is enough blood on the shelves,” says Richard Benjamin, chief medical officer for the Red Cross. “We need to do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t get to that point.”

The Red Cross reached emergency levels June 25, with 50,000 fewer donations than expected in June. There are half as many readily available blood products today than at the same time last year. America’s Blood Centers, which collects 50% of the nation’s blood, says donations have been tight but not at the same emergency levels as the Red Cross.

Benefits of Giving Blood:

  1. The great feeling that comes with helping to save lives.

    I am not sure about this, but some claim that there is a health benefit to donating blood on a regular basis.

  2. A free check of your blood pressure and pulse.
  3. A relaxing respite from a hectic day in the city.
  4. Maybe a free Total Cholesterol Report. I say “maybe” because at the New York Blood Center this week, they told me that they’re no longer providing that service. But you should ask for it when you donate; I believe that you need to donate whole blood instead of platelets if you want your total  cholesterol score sent to you in the mail.

Bear in mind that the New York Blood Center is not affiliated with the American Red Cross. Yesterday, I wanted to find out if the Red Cross is still offering the cholesterol test, but was unable to do so.  In the past, they sent it to me in the mail within a few weeks. This must be at least a $100 value.

Make an appointment today. But even without the free cholesterol test (which I really don’t need anymore), we should all donate blood regularly. Just be sure and ask for the test if you want it. If enough people request it, maybe they’ll start providing it again.

I gave blood on Tuesday in New York City. I usually give blood in the MetLife building just up the escalator from Grand Central Station in New York. While they prefer an appointment, they have never turned me away when I just walked in the door. The whole process takes less than an hour. I walked into the blood center at 1:55 and was able to catch a 2:34 train out of Grand Central Station.

Click here to make an appointment. I did yesterday morning and they emailed me this note immediately:


Thank you for scheduling an appointment to save a life. Your whole blood donation is scheduled at: 

MetLife Donor Center

200 Park Avenue, Lobby Level, NEW YORK, NY 10017

Tuesday Jul 31, 2012 at 2:15PM

Just do it. You’ll be glad you did.

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Blogging daily at…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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4 Responses to Donate Blood. Save lives. Get a few free tests.

  1. Jean Myers says:

    Another benefit or “problem” with a whole foods, plant-based diet is that I no longer weigh enough to donate blood. I believe the minimum is still 115 pounds so for those weighing less, donating is not an option 😦 Please let me know if that is no longer the case.

    • J. Morris Hicks says:

      Hi Jean, Now that is what I call a “high-class” problem. One that millions of people would love to have. Now that you mentioned weight; it reminded me of the incredible obesity that I witnessed in the blood clinic in New York on Tuesday. Not the patients, but the staff. Virtually all of them were morbidly obese. Is it just me, but are most of our health care workers even more obese than the general population? Best, Jim

      • Jean Myers says:

        Sadly your observation appears all too true in our hospital and clinics as well 😦

  2. ~Kyrena says:

    For men – who are at a higher risk then women – having too much iron in their blood, giving blood is the only way to reduce the levels. A good reason to donate. The main reason that people have high iron is…ta da…their diet! Specifically eatting to much “enriched” “food” that has iron added back during the production process, ie. most commercial cereals and bread. Yet another reason to follow the 4 Leaf WHOLE plant-based diet!

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