Esperança

What You Need to Know About Donating Blood

Submitted by Elena Burr, Marketing Manager

Like many, for me January is a time of reflection on a year gone by and revaluation of my priorities moving forward, picking up knew habits to benefit my mental health, physical heath and community.

My community-centric mission became clear when I found out that January is also National Blood Donor Month. And the reason this observance has taken place every January for the past 50 years? Winter is THE most difficult time of year to collect blood donations due to holiday travel, seasonal illness, etc.

And 2020 was no different!

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and limited school/workplace blood drives, blood centers around the country are down to a 1-2 day supply on hand. The need is urgent.

So, if you’re still hesitant on becoming a regular blood donor, here’s all you need to know about the process from the American Red Cross:

What

  • Roughly 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, but only 10% actually do.
  • The donation process takes roughly 10 minutes, though you can expect to stay closer to an hour to ensure your safety post-donation.
  • The average adult has about 10 pints of blood in their body and 1 pint is removed during donation.
  • All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases (like COVID-19) before being distributed hospitals.

Why

  • Blood donors help patients of all ages: accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer.
  • Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • A single blood donation has the ability to save three lives.

How

  • You need to be at least 17 years old (or 16 with a parent/guardian) and weigh 110 pounds.
  • Donations can be made every 56 days – add a notification to your calendar!
  • Find a Blood Bank near you to set an appointment.

As you can tell, blood banks rely on us, everyday citizens, to SAVE lives in our communities. Now with less large-scale blood drives schedules, it is up to us even more to meet the blood banks where they’re at!

So make your New Year’s resolution to give back and find a donation center near you! Donate now. Donate again in eight weeks. Repeat.

Elena Burr