The American Red Cross says legislation allowing younger teenagers to give blood is helping increase supplies at blood banks for North Carolina patients.
Barry Porter with the Triangle-area chapter of the American Red Cross said on Monday that 16-year-olds gave an estimated 11,500 units of blood in 2009. The law signed in August 2008 lowered the age of consent to donate blood from 17 to 16.
The office of Rep. Dale Folwell of Forsyth County said the law is expanding the number of people whose lives can be improved or saved because each unit can be shared with up to three people.
Porter said people become lifelong donors when they learn that giving blood is safe and easy to do.