Eligible, healthy individuals urged to donate as winter months present a challenge in collecting lifesaving blood.
America’s Blood Centers, the Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies (AABB), and the American Red Cross are uniting to express gratitude to the roughly 7 million people across the United States who donate blood as National Blood Donor Month approaches in January. This month serves to recognize America’s donors and encourage more individuals to donate blood in January and throughout the year.
The blood community is greatly appreciative of all the individuals who donated blood this past year, including the many newly eligible donors who gave blood following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s donor eligibility updates in 2023. New and returning donors are critically needed as the blood donor base throughout the U.S. has continued to shrink. The blood community reminds Americans to consult with their local blood center to confirm their eligibility and to make an appointment to donate blood this month – or any time in 2024.
“National Blood Donor Month is a time to recognize the selfless contributions of the roughly 7 million people across the country who give blood each year. Their simple yet profound decision has saved countless lives. We encourage all eligible individuals to join the ranks of America’s blood donors and make a lifesaving impact in someone's time of need,” said Kate Fry, CEO of America's Blood Centers.
“This National Blood Donor Month, the blood community says thank you to the millions of blood donors throughout the United States. Your gift provides essential medicine for patients in need,” said Debra BenAvram, chief executive officer of AABB. “Blood is an essential part of health care and is needed every day. We encourage eligible Americans to start the new year off by making an appointment to donate blood today.”
“We are grateful to those who generously roll up a sleeve for patients in need,” said Chris Hrouda, president of American Red Cross Biomedical Services. “Even as we see the donor base decline, the American Red Cross recognizes and celebrates our dedicated blood and platelet donors who are giving more often today than past decades. This National Blood Donor Month, please join us in our mission that truly helps save lives.”
President Richard Nixon proclaimed January 1970 as the first National Blood Donor Month on December 31, 1969, as requested by Senate Joint Resolution 154, to pay tribute to voluntary blood donors and encourage new donors to join. This month continues to be celebrated each year to thank America's blood donors and encourage more people to donate blood.
Blood transfusion remains one of the most common hospital procedures, with patients requiring a blood transfusion every two seconds. More than 42,000 units of red blood cells, platelets, and plasma are used by patients every day. These blood transfusions are needed to treat patients with acute care needs such as trauma and blood loss during childbirth, as well as for disease management for patients with a variety of health conditions, including cancer, inherited blood disorders, cardiovascular and orthopedic surgeries, and organ and bone marrow transplants.
The winter months are especially challenging time for the blood community due to weather-related events like severe storms and debilitating snow, ice, and cold that can impact blood drives and complicate the ability to transport lifesaving blood to hospitals for patients in need.
The blood community encourages eligible Americans to donate blood in January and to make regular appointments to donate throughout the year. Please contact one of the following organizations to find a local blood collection site and to schedule an appointment:
America’s Blood Centers: Founded in 1962, America’s Blood Centers is the national organization bringing together community-based, independent blood centers. Its member organizations operate more than 600 blood collection sites providing close to 60 percent of the U.S., and a quarter of the Canadian, blood supply. These blood centers serve more than 150 million people and provide blood products and services to more than 3,500 hospitals and healthcare facilities across North America. All ABC U.S. members are licensed and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. For more information, visit www.AmericasBlood.org.
AABB: AABB (Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies) is an international, not-for-profit organization representing individuals and institutions involved in the fields of transfusion medicine and biotherapies. The Association works collaboratively to advance the field through the development and delivery of standards, accreditation and education programs. AABB is dedicated to its mission of improving lives by making transfusion medicine and biotherapies safe, available and effective worldwide.