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Donating blood measured in gallons, not pints

Associated Press Published: November 17, 2012

When she's donating blood in Norwalk, Henry said she sees people walking by and thinks they've probably never donated. She said she's always trying to talk people into donating.

"I'm the only one," Henry said. "I try to recruit people to come, but nobody wants to do it. Nobody wants to give their time. You've gotta make time."

The entire process of giving blood -- which includes registration, answering some questions, a mini-physical exam and a snack -- takes about an hour and 15 minutes. After she donates, Henry said she feels better because she may have just saved a life.

"One pint of blood can save three people's lives," she said.

Since the recent hurricane, Henry said it's even more important that people donate blood; St. Peter agrees.

"Blood has a limited shelf life and must constantly be replenished," St. Peter said. "We are deeply grateful to all those who remember patients in need and for the overwhelming response that has helped make up the shortfall after Superstorm Sandy."

St. Peter said blood donors are encouraged to give during the holidays, a time when people are typically busy, as well as year-round.

But one person that she won't have to urge to donate is Henry, who was busy eating liver and pumpkin seeds this week to build up her iron and drinking lots of water.

"People stuck in the hospital with diseases such as sickle-cell anemia need blood on a regular basis and where are they gonna get it?" Henry asked. "They rely on regular donors."