Ready for a New Year’s resolution that helps your community? January honors blood donors and encourages others to give.
Since 1970, January has been known as National Blood Donor Month (NBDM). This month is dedicated to blood organizations paying tribute to the millions who give blood each year, bringing awareness to the severity of the cause and increasing the amount of people who contribute to those in need. Blood is commonly in low supply during winter months due to the weather, holidays, traveling and illness.
Why is donating important?
Most Americans have blood to spare. Did you know that just one pint of blood can save up to three lives? According to the American Red Cross, hospital patients need about 44,000 blood donations daily for cancer care, surgeries and the treatment of various diseases and trauma.
Who can receive my donation?
The antigens in your blood determine your blood type. The two major types of blood antigens are ABO and Rh. These combine to create the following blood types: O+, O-, A+, A-, B+, B-, AB+ and AB-. A patient can receive blood that has the same ABO antigens as theirs, plus O. Rh+ can receive Rh+ or Rh-, while Rh- can only receive Rh- blood.
Donating is not dangerous! Everyone is encouraged to donate blood to help those in need and possibly even save a life. If you are unable to donate, help spread the word and encourage others to do so- currently less than 5% of the eligible population actually donates.
Blood Donation Eligibility Requirements:
- At least 17 years old
- At least 5’1 in a height and weigh at least 110 pounds
- Healthy and feeling well
- Haven’t donated in the last 56 days
Tips for Before Blood Donation:
- Get enough sleep the night before
- Drink an extra 16 oz. of water or any non-alcoholic beverage
- Eat a healthy, balanced meal
- Bring your donor card or any two forms of identification
Tips for After Blood Donation:
- Drink an extra four glasses of fluids and avoid alcohol intake for 24 hours
- Remove the bandage within one hour
- Clean the area with soap and water
- Avoid vigorous physical activity for the rest of the day
Visit redcross.org to find a donation center near you!
- American Red Cross