Saturday, April 17, 2010

House Passes Cox Bill Lowering Age of Potential Blood Donors

OKLAHOMA CITY (April 15, 2010) – The number of potential blood donors could increase dramatically under legislation passed by the Oklahoma House of Representatives today.

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Senate Bill 1819, by state Sen. Brian Crain and state Rep. Doug Cox, would lower the age required to donate blood to 16, provided parental permission was given.

"It’s worth noting that blood donation is down at the same time we are passing this legislation," said Cox, R-Grove. "It highlights that we need to do everything we can to ensure hospitals have the supply of blood they need to help Oklahomans who have suffered a medical crisis and need an immediate transfusion."

Cox noted that current law prohibits compensation for anyone under the age of 18 for blood donation.

"I don’t think that 16 is too young, considering there is already a provision built into law that addresses younger uncompensated donors," Cox said. "This legislation also contains a provision ensuring parental permission is given in order for a 16-year-old to donate blood."

Cox said that traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death and often cause the sort of trauma for which a transfusion is needed. Natural disasters and incidents such as the Oklahoma City bombing have also created special circumstances in which a greater supply of blood is needed, he said.

"This is a very simple measure, but one that will save lives," Cox said. "The youthful enthusiasm and desire to assist other has traditionally made high school students a major source of donated blood and blood products. This bill simply widens the window of opportunity to help our fellow mankind down to those who are 16 years of age."
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