Did you know that this is the perfect time of year to give blood? What a BIG difference you can make by doing something that is just temporarily uncomfortable for you. Start off the new year right, by donating blood to the Red Cross or your local blood bank in honor of National Blood Donor Month. The process only takes an hour of your time, and results in lifesaving platelets or pints of blood for those in need. All blood types are needed and with more traffic accidents happening during the winter season, clean backup blood is sparse this time of year. In light of what has happened in Haiti, the importance of blood backup is very evident. Our hearts go out to the people of Haiti as they are in the midst of such a harsh tragedy.
The first month of the year has been recognized as National Blood Donor Month since 1970. According to the American Association of Blood Banks, now known as AABB, in the United States every day, “approximately 39,000 units of blood are required in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients, and to help save the lives of accident victims.” The AABB works in conjunction with the American Red Cross and America’s Blood Centers and their main goal is to help those in need of blood, especially in harsh winter environments due to illness, accidents, and unforeseen weather conditions.
Be in the know:
- One donation has the ability to save three lives. Three!
- Every day approximately 40,000 pints of blood are needed.
- One out of every seven people entering a hospital will require blood.
- Fewer than one in ten people donate blood. Inspire others to give as they’re able. Each of us has blood, many are able to give it, few do. Help change that.
It is easy to donate! Click here to search for a location by zip code or call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) for more information.
In order to donate blood, you have to meet certain donor requirements. The most important is that you must be at least 17 years old in order to give blood voluntarily, although some states do consent at 16 with written parental consent. You must be at least 110 pounds, you should be healthy meaning without infection, not on antibiotics, without a fever, and generally feeling well on day of donation. You may only donate if you have not given blood within 8 weeks.
Now go make a difference out there! Give the gift of life!