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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 4, 2006

UI DeGowin Blood Center Observes National Blood Donor Month

To help ensure an adequate blood supply, the DeGowin Blood Center at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has joined with AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks) to stress the importance of donating blood.

Organizers first observed January as National Blood Donor Month in 1970. The need for blood is constant, and volunteer blood donors contribute to nearly all the blood used for patient care in the United States, said Paula Dayton, donor recruitment coordinator for the DeGowin Blood Center.

"If all who are eligible to donate would do so on a regular basis -- three to four times per year -- blood needs could be met, and shortages could become a thing of the past," Dayton said.

Every two seconds, someone needs blood. Each day, patients across the country receive approximately 38,000 units of this lifesaving resource. This year alone, as many as five million patients will require blood transfusions because of accidents, surgery and treatment for leukemia, cancer and other diseases.

The DeGowin Blood Center supplies blood products for patients at UI Hospitals and Clinics. Last year, there were more than 33,000 total transfusions performed at UI Hospitals and Clinics, or an average of nearly 90 every day.

To donate blood, people must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and have no cold or flu symptoms for five days prior to donating.

The DeGowin Blood Center has one permanent donation site in Room C-250, General Hospital, in UI Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. In addition, the center also conducts mobile blood drives in various locations throughout the area.

People interested in becoming blood donors may call the UI DeGowin Blood Center at 319-356-2058 for more information or to schedule an appointment to donate blood. Additional information also is available online at www.uihealthcare.com/bloodcenter.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at http://www.uihealthcare.com.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Paula Dayton, 319-356-0524, paula-dayton@uiowa.edu