In demand: your [young] blood, wall posts and tweets

In the June 19 edition of the British journal
The Lancet, an editorial addresses the world's need for young blood donors and encourages the use of social media to help fill blood banks.

World Blood Donor Day took place on June 14 launching the World Health Organization's (WHO) campaign "New blood for the world" with the "hopes that a new generation of idealistic and motivated voluntary unpaid blood donors will form a pool that provides the safest blood possible for use wherever and whenever it is needed to save life."

The Lancet questions, "Will young people rise to the challenge and donate blood in increasing numbers?"

And answers that health professionals need to engage their younger patients and increase university-based blood-donation campaigns possibly with "Google...carrying free advertisements for national blood-donation organisations."

"If every blood donor used their Facebook wall to recruit friends, and if blood were distributed throughout the year to where the need is greatest, the mismatch between demand and supply could be eliminated."

So if you are young, healthy and haven't recently had unprotected sex, anything pierced or tattooed, you may be eligible to donate blood.

There is an exhaustive set of criteria that can make your blood not ‘OK' that can range from your sexual orientation to places traveled, medications, even electrolysis. For more information on blood donor requirements contact your local Red Cross office or blood bank.

If you do donate, those in grave need of your blood, especially anemic children and women, will be grateful.

While you are at it, share the news with your ‘friends' on Facebook and ‘followers' on Twitter - think of all the children and mothers you can save.

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