Blood donations are needed now more than ever.
Why have a National Blood Donor Month?
Because about 38,000 blood donations are needed every day. Every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood or blood components (red cells, plasma, platelets). Every year, donated blood saves an estimated 4.5 million lives.
Raising awareness of the need for blood donations is year-round, but it’s particularly important in January. That’s because numbers show that each January, blood is at its shortest supply, due primarily to the holidays, flu and cold season and inclement weather discouraging donations.
Low blood supply in January is the norm. But this year, the norm has reached a new low. The American Red Cross is calling it the worst shortage in over a decade. One reason is that donations at the organization have dropped by 10% since March of 2020. There are the usual suspects–holidays and bad weather, etc.–and then there’s suspect #1–the pandemic.
If ever there was a time to donate, it’s right now.
Here’s a few facts about donating blood:
- Approximately 38% of Americans are eligible to give blood, only 2% do.
- The 2 most common reasons for not donating are unawareness (didn’t think to) and fear of needles.
- Donating blood is safe, involving sterile, single-use needles.
- It’s relatively fast–the blood draw takes 10-15 minutes and total time is approximately an hour and 15 minutes.
- Your body replaces the donated plasma in about 24 hours and red blood cells in 4 to 6 weeks.
- All you need to do is register, answer questions about your health history, donate, recover–and feel good about yourself!
- Most importantly, just 1 pint from you can save up to 3 lives.
Where to donate?
You can use the locator tool provided by the Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies at https://www.aabb.org/for-donors-patients/give-blood
You can schedule an appointment at the nearest Red Cross using their scheduling tool here: https://www.redcross.org/give-blood.html