January is National Volunteer Blood Donor Month and the American Red Cross wishes to thank people who give blood to help patients in need.
Since 1970, Blood Donor Month has been observed to educate everyone about the importance of being a blood donor and the impact blood donations can have on patients who need 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.”
January is a time of year when blood supplies often dip drastically as winter weather blankets the country, keeping people from giving blood. At the same time, patient need for blood does not diminish.
Every two seconds, someone in this country needs blood. 44,000 blood donations are needed every day to help accident and burn victims, cancer patients, those having surgery, new mothers, premature babies and many others.
Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. Individuals should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when coming to donate.
For more information on giving blood, or to make an appointment to give blood or platelets in the coming days, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit www.redcrossblood.org.