Keep the Giving Going: Donate Blood This January and Save Lives

December 26, 2017

The holidays may be over and all the presents unwrapped, but that does not mean the giving has to end. Donating blood can save lives and help keep the spirit of giving going into the New Year.

A blood donation is a great way to give back to the community and have a positive impact on the health of others. A one-time donation can save the lives of up to three people, and the need for blood is constant. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. January can be particularly hard on the blood supply, as cold weather and seasonal illnesses keep donors away.

Conemaugh Health System regularly partners with the local Red Cross chapter to host local blood drives throughout the year. A blood drive is scheduled for Friday, January 26, 2018 from 9 am until 2:30 pm at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center’s Main Campus, 1086 Franklin Street, Johnstown, in the Good Samaritan Building, Myron C Williams Conference Room, Second Floor. Walk-ins are welcome. To donate, individuals must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in generally good health.

Donating blood is a simple, four-step process that includes registration, a confidential medical history survey and a mini-physical, the actual donation process, and a post-donation snack and beverage. The brief mini-physical checks body temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin to ensure that the donor’s blood is safe and ready to give. The actual blood donation takes about eight to ten minutes.

Donating is easier than ever with the American Red Cross’ RapidPass service. RapidPass allows donors to begin the donation process at home. Visit to complete a pre-donation education and a health history survey, and simply print out a donation pass or save it to a mobile device to show during the time of donation.

Know Before You Go*

  • Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded.
  • Donors can give either whole blood or specific blood components (red cells, plasma or platelets).
  • Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets. The body will replenish the elements given during a blood donation – some in a matter of hours and others in a matter of weeks.
  • All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases before it is released to hospitals.

Information provided by the American Red Cross