As few as 3 percent of Americans eligible to donate blood do, and fear and anxiety are common reasons why many decline to give. U.S. hospitals are always in need of new donors; at Mayo Clinic, that need is heightened by concern about iron deficiency in frequent givers. Mayo recently began requiring people to wait 12 weeks rather than eight between donations, a change that means an estimated 10 percent drop in its blood supply.
To inspire more people to give blood, Manish Gandhi, M.D., medical director of the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center, addresses several common blood donation phobias, including fear of needles, fear of the sight of blood and fear of fainting.
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Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Gandhi and b-roll of blood donation are available in the downloads.