Since 1970, January has been designated as National Blood Donor Month. The American Red Cross is urging all Americans to roll up their sleeve and donate blood and platelets this winter. Since this is the time of year for making resolutions, why not add to your role as a life saver by resolving to donate blood regularly. Unfortunately, blood and platelet levels are at an all-time low forcing the Red Cross to issue an emergency call for donations on January 4th, 2017. The shortages are being blamed on severe winter weather which forced hundreds of blood drives to be canceled in November and December, making this year’s Donor Month awareness activities more critical than ever.
Statistics show that every 12 seconds someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion. As the Red Cross provides nearly 40% of the nation’s blood supply, they estimate that more than 14,000 blood and platelet donations need to be collected every day for the 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.
“Hospital patients need lifesaving blood this winter, and they’re relying on the generosity of volunteer donors to provide hope in the days and weeks ahead,” said Chris Hrouda, executive vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “The Red Cross is doing everything it can to ensure blood products are available on the shelves when patients need it, but we can’t do it alone. We need eligible individuals to give blood and platelets as soon as possible.”
Donating blood has never been easier. If you need to find a blood donation drive in your area, click on this link. Another option to take your life-saving efforts to another level is to host a blood drive. This level of commitment is a great way to join with colleagues and friends to give back to your local community.
As a nurse, therapist or other medical professional, we know you are already out on the front lines saving lives and helping others to live healthier. Recognizing National Blood Donor Month is another way you can make a difference. Throughout the month of January, promote the idea of regular blood donations with your patients who are physically able to donate. Each individual who makes the decision to “give the gift of life” can benefit from knowing they are helping others in need.
Have you ever hosted or helped organize a blood drive for your place of employment? Do you donate blood on a regular basis? We want to hear from you! Please share your thoughts in the comment section below or join the conversation on our Facebook page.