January is recognized across the United States as National Blood Donation Month, a time to celebrate those whose small acts can make such a large difference. It’s also a time to raise awareness …
January is recognized across the United States as National Blood Donation Month, a time to celebrate those whose small acts can make such a large difference. It’s also a time to raise awareness in the new year about the importance of donating blood and blood components - include red cells, platelets and plasma.
This January marks the 53rd anniversary of National Blood Donor Month - the first presidential proclamation having been issued by President Richard Nixon in January of 1970.
“Genuine concern for his fellowman has always distinguished the American Citizen. That concern finds daily expression in countless acts of voluntary service to the less fortunate, the sick, and the injured,” wrote President Nixon. “No manifestation of this generosity of spirit is more expressive, and no gift more priceless in time of personal crisis, than the donation of one’s blood. The voluntary blood donor truly gives life itself.”
According to the American Red Cross, only around three percent of the U.S. population donates blood each year. Each person who donates blood, however, can potentially save multiple lives with that single donation.
The American Red Cross says that winter can be one of the more challenging times of year to collect enough blood and platelets to meet patient demand. The holiday season, along with inclement weather patterns, can disrupt the schedule of blood drives. Seasonal illnesses such as the flu can also impact the number of donors during winter months.
The statistics surrounding blood donations can be startling, but they underscore the importance of donors.
According to the American Red Cross, someone in the United States needs blood and or platelets every two seconds. Approximately 29,000 units of red blood cells are needed in the United States every day and nearly 5,000 units of platelets and 6.500 units of plasma are needed daily as well.
A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood. The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O.
So as you’re making New Year’s Resolutions for 2023, resolve to be a donor. Visit www.redcrossblood.org or www.aabb.org to learn more.
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