Governor signs bill allowing 16-year-olds to give blood

The other day, I went to the blood drive at my high school to give double red blood cell units. To me, it was nothing new since I had been donating whole blood since I was 16 and double red units since 17.

However, I was taking this privilege for granted. California is lucky in that we are part of a small group of states who have lowered the minimum age to give blood, down to 16. States such as Alabama, Arizona, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and several others are also in this group.

On February 17, Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe signed a bill allowing 16-year-olds to donate blood with written parent/guardian permission. This will help alleviate the blood shortage our country currently faces. The American Red Cross encourages all those who are eligible, to donate blood. Donors who are 16 are eligible to donate blood, dependent on state laws.

-Lucas Matze, California

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