Did you know there’s such a thing as blood shortage season? The beginning of a new year means that donations are low and blood centers need your help.
January was declared National Blood Donor Month back in 1970 for a perfect storm of reasons. People have full schedules through the holidays, the weather takes a turn for the worse in January, and cold and flu season make many potential donors ineligible, if only for a short time. But even though donations are down, the need for blood is not.
Every two seconds, someone in this country needs blood. Every day we need 44,000 blood donations to help victims of accidents and burns, surgical patients, and premature infants, among others. Most blood centers have less than a three-day supply of blood for transfusions. In recent years, baby boomers have accounted for the majority of donations, but as boomers age, health issues cut down on their ability to donate, while their sheer numbers increase the need for more blood.
“We want to thank everyone who gives blood and ask them to schedule a time to donate now,” said Shaun Gilmore, president of Biomedical Services for the Red Cross. “We’d also like to encourage people who have never donated before to consider giving for the first time and join those across the country who change lives by donating blood.”
The Red Cross urges everyone over the age of 17 to consider donating blood during the winter months. Not sure if you’re eligible to donate blood? Give your local blood donation center a call. And if you’ve never donated blood before, this Red Cross video walks you through step by step process of this selfless gift.
call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)
image copyright: istockphoto.com
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