Did you know more than four and a half million Americans need a blood transfusion each year? Every two seconds, someone in the United States is in need of blood, and donations from generous individuals help us meet this critical need (National Department of Health & Human Services, 2019).
In observance of National Blood Donor Month this January, we recognize the lifesaving contributions of blood and platelet donors and ask those who do not already donate blood to consider how simple and far-reaching their donations will be.
Many people don’t realize that winter is the most difficult time to for health care providers to maintain enough blood and platelet donations to meet patient needs. Winter weather can interfere with blood drives and the flu season leaves many too sick to donate. Making a quick appointment to donate blood or platelets can have life-changing impacts for those who are less fortunate in their health. We urge those who are able to share their good health with others resolve to give blood regularly throughout the year.
Who is eligible to donate blood?
In keeping with our commitment to ensure the safety of our patients and our health care providers, donors must meet a few requirements to qualify as a blood donor:
- A potential donor must be at least 17 or older to donate blood, however, some states allow donors to be 16 but must have signed parental consent.
- A potential donor must weigh at least 110 lbs.
- A potential donor must be in good health – meaning they must fell well and are able to perform normal activities.
- Registered donors must wait 56 days between each blood donation.
Visit American Red Cross to find a blood drive near you and help others with a fast and simple blood donation.