National Blood Donors month is a time observed each year to encourage current blood donors and new blood donors to give blood. Here’s what you need to know about this particular time and why it’s crucial.
What is blood donors month?
Nation Blood Donors month takes place every year in January and is a time to celebrate all of the individuals who donate blood to help others. Every day, individuals donate blood and platelets to save the lives of those in need potentially. However, January is one of the worst months as far as shortages go.
Because of the holidays and seasonal sickness, few people donate blood in November and December. This shortage of donors results in hospitals and clinics going through their stored supply of blood without new blood coming in. Each January, many emergency services are dealing with shortages of blood that could be catastrophic for individuals in need.
To combat the shortage, the National Blood Donors month was instituted nearly 50 years ago. The month is a drive to get more people to donate blood. You may see signs and commercials calling for individuals to serve by donating throughout the month. If you’ve never donated blood before, there’s no better time to start than this January!
Why You Should Donate Blood
Donating blood is not only noble but can save someone’s life. Every two seconds in the United States, someone needs blood. Car accidents, major surgeries, and other unforeseen problems leave individuals needing blood that can only be received if someone chooses to donate.
Unfortunately, these disasters don’t go away during pandemics, holidays, or the flu season. This leads to an even greater need for people to donate. From grandparents fighting COVID-19 who need plasma to children battling cancer to mothers dealing with complications during childbirth, blood is a life-saving tool that only willing individuals can offer.
The vast need for donors is the single most significant reason you should consider becoming a blood donor. Without your willingness to give, individuals may lose their lives to the national blood shortage.
How to Donate Blood
If you’re considering donating blood, you can rest easy knowing it’s a simple process. The American Red Cross is an excellent resource for finding clinics in your area where you can donate.
Contact a local blood donor clinic and set up an appointment. They will likely ask you a few questions about your medical history, as certain conditions may disqualify you as a valid donor, such as:
- Having AIDS
- Being HIV positive
- Having a fever
- Showing symptoms of certain illnesses
- History of drug abuse
The clinic will walk you through anything that may disqualify you. However, provided everything is good to go, they will sit you down in a chair, draw you blood, and you’ll be done. The process generally takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
After you’ve finished donating blood, you’ll probably be a little light-headed. This is normal. Most clinics will offer you a sandwich, cookie, juice, or similar food to help bring your strength up. However, if you are donating blood, it’s a good idea to take a friend who can drive you home afterward. Donating blood affects some people more than others, and the last thing you would want is to pass out on the way home. Take precautions, and be a hero today by donating blood to those in need!
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