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January is the beginning of a new year and the perfect time to start the year celebrating National Blood Donor Month.

Due to increased seasonal illnesses during the winter months and inclement weather conditions, donations of blood and platelets decline and demand increases. The American Red Ross and Blood Banks of America encourage everyone who can donate to continue their donations. Those who have never donated, to make an appointment.

Blood donation is safer than ever before and saves lives. Millions of people including cancer patients, organ recipients, and victims of accidents; rely on blood donations from people like you and I.

I am personally grateful for donors.  I needed several after suffering a brain aneurysm in 2013.  It helped save my life and allows me to write this today. While I am now unable to donate myself, there are no words adequate to express my gratitude that others both can and do.

Here are some of the biggest reasons giving blood is so important.

  1. About 36,000 units of red blood cells and 7,000 units of platelets are needed every single day in the U.S.
  2. The most requested blood type by hospitals is type O. This kind of blood can be transfused to patients of all blood types, so it’s always in great demand and very short supply. Only 7% of people in the U.S. have type O.
  3. A single car accident victim may need up to 100 pints of blood to survive.
  4. About 6.8 million people donate blood every year in the U.S.
  5. 38% of our population is eligible to donate, but less than 10% actually do.
  6. Donating blood is a simple, safe process. All you have to do is register, take a mini medical history test, donate, and then accept free refreshments like water, Gatorade, granola bars, etc.
  7. A single donation from a single patient can help more than one person.


President Richard Nixon proclaimed January as National Blood Donor Month for the first time on December 31, 1969, as requested by Senate Joint Resolution 154.

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Give blood. Don’t wait for a disaster. Someone needs blood now! Contact the American Red Cross or your local blood bank for more information. Use #NationalBloodDonorMonth and #GiveBlood to share on social media.

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