Roll up your sleeve: It’s National Blood Donor Month

national blood donor month, harris school of business, career trainingGiving blood saves lives!

Now that we have turned our calendars to the month of January, people are ready to start out the new year right. One great way to do this is to decide to become a blood donor. January is National Blood Donor Month. The American Red Cross wants to take this month to emphasize the importance of blood donation, encourage people to donate, and thank all of the current donors for their generosity.

Consider some of these blood facts that the Red Cross has shared on their website:

  • Someone in the U.S. needs blood every 2 seconds.
  • Across the U.S., approximately 41,000 blood donations are needed each day.
  • Blood Type O is the blood type that hospitals most often request.
  • Type O negative blood is always in demand because it can be given to people of all blood types.
  • Only 9% of people in the U.S. have Type O negative blood.
  • Type AB plasma is also in short supply and high demand.
  • The donation of platelets is also in high demand.
  • Patients with sickle cell disease can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their entire lives. Sickle cell disease affects nearly 100,000 people in the U.S.
  • Cancer patients can need blood during their chemotherapy treatments. Over 1.5 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer every year.
  • A person in a serious car accident can require up to 100 pints of donated blood.
  • Donating blood is safe. A sterile needle is used for each donor and then discarded.
  • Donation blood is simple. It just takes these four steps.
  • The actual process of donating blood takes only about 10-15 minutes. (The whole appointment takes about an hour and 15 minutes.)
  • Because your blood regenerates, you can donate red blood cells every 56 days.
  • All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases before it is sent to hospitals.
  • One donation can help save the lives of up to three people.
  • The American Red Cross works with more than 50,000 blood drive sponsors each year to hold more than 200,000 blood drives, providing convenient locations for people to give blood.
  • Getting over a fear of needles is possible!

New Blood Donor App

The Red Cross is making it easier than ever to become a blood donor. They now offer a free app that allows you to schedule your appointment from your mobile device. The app also features a number of other motivational features such as:

  • Schedule or reschedule your appointment
  • Find local blood drives
  • Earn rewards from participating retailers
  • Receive reminders
  • Keep track of how many donations you have provided
  • Get blood shortage alerts if your blood type is needed

Why not turn over a new leaf this year and become a blood donor? Many donors agree that it gives you a rewarding feeling to know that you have helped to save lives. If you are ready to give it a try, you can use the Red Cross’s website to find a blood drive near you.

This article was compiled by the Harris School of Business. The Harris School offers career training in the field of healthcare, and takes a special interest in giving back to the community through blood drives, charitable giving drives, and other activities. Our training programs include Medical Assistant, Dental Assistant, Medical Billing and Coding (Health Claims Specialist), Massage Therapy, and more. We would like to recognize all of the students and staff members who have donated blood during our school’s blood drives. You truly make a difference!