Give Blood December is regarded as a month of service and giving, but don’t let your charitable streak end there. January is National Blood Donor Month. While about 30 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, less than 10 percent actually gives. Last year, the country experienced one of the worst blood shortages in years, prompting the Red Cross to advise hospitals in big cities across the country to cancel certain surgeries.
Demand for blood is high thanks to new lifesaving medical technologies, but unfortunately, supply often dips during the winter months when bad weather and illness often keep people from donating.
Giving blood doesn’t take much time. In fact, you can now use the Red Cross’s online system known as RapidPass to complete your paperwork, saving you time at the blood bank. Your donation can pack a big punch; one donation can save up to three lives.
The AllergyEasy staff invites you to support the American Red Cross by donating blood or platelets this month and beyond. Here are a few things to remember as you make plans to donate blood or platelets.
- You must weigh at least 110 pounds to donate.
- You must be at least 17 years of age to donate. (Some states allow 16-year-olds to donate blood with parental consent.)
- You may donate blood every 56 days and platelets every 7 days.
- Call 1-800-RED-CROSS to donate or check out their app for convenient scheduling.
One in four people will need a blood transfusion in the course of their lifetime. You may be one of them. Make it a New Year’s resolution to give blood regularly. It’s a simple way to give the gift of life.