January marks National Blood Donor Month with the American Red Cross. Observed since 1970, this month long event celebrates the millions of selfless donors that give every year. It also spreads awareness of the need of donations for this month; when they are typically lower than average due to weather and sickness.
Every 2 seconds someone needs blood in the US. The Red Cross supplies about 40% of blood donations needed throughout the US. The Red Cross needs 13,000 donations daily to keep up with the demand of blood donations needed. Even though 6.8 million people in the US donate each year, it is still less than 10% of the population. Each donation is about 1 pint of blood; the human body has around 10 pints on average. One donation has the capability to save multiple lives.
Interested in donating? Here’s the typical process step by step:
- Donor Registration
- Health history review and a mini physical
- Donation process, around 1 pint of blood, take 12-15 minutes
- Donation is labeled with barcode and scanned into database
- Bood is spun in a centrifuge to separate components that can be given: red cells, platelets, and plasma
- Test tube of donation is tested to detect blood type and infectious diseases
- If positive, sample is discarded and donor is notified
- If negative, sample is refrigerated, stored, or transported to hospitals when needed
Visit www.redcross.org to find a location near you to donate.