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January is National Blood Donor Month

By Brian Bradley, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS

Every 2 seconds someone in the United States requires a blood transfusion.  It takes a lot of blood to fulfill that need.  Although there is an average of 15.7 million donations a year, supply is still low.  It is estimated that 38% of the US population is eligible to donate blood, but less than 10% actually does.  With the need for blood seemingly going up each year, it is vitally important for people to generously donate blood.

This January marks the 45th Annual National Blood Donor Month.  The month serves to recognize the life-saving contribution blood and platelet donors make to modern healthcare.  They try to increase awareness of the critical need for blood and help spotlight special donors who have made an impact.

If you are looking for ways to help, check out The American Red Cross (http://www.redcrossblood.org/) or One Blood (http://www.oneblood.org/about/big-red-bus.stml) to find the closest blood drive or donation center near you.  A blood drive is a great way to raise awareness and help an important cause at the same time.  If you are interested in hosting a blood drive at your school or place of work, The American Red Cross and One Blood are both great organizations to contact as well.

Facts about donation:

- Donors must be at least 17 years old

- Donors must weigh more than 110 pounds

- Blood can be donated every 56 days

- Platelets can be donated every 7 days (maximum of 24 times annually)

For more information on National Blood Donor Month please visit the following websites.

http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Red-Cross-Celebrates-National-Blood-Donor-Month

https://www.adrp.org/promoting-donation/natl-blood-donor-month/