This month marks the 53rd National Blood Donor Month. This is a time to bring attention to the importance of donating blood to be used in hospitals across the country.
Each year, blood donors save countless lives. It is estimated that approximately 6.8 million people in the U.S. donate blood each year. About 45% of people in the U.S. have Type O blood, which is the type most often needed in hospitals. This year the national blood supply has fallen to low levels, which could cause delays in life-saving
How can you get involved?
Find a blood donation center near you! Blood donation drives are often held in multiple places are your community. You can find blood donation centers near you by looking online. Blood drives are also often held at schools, churches, and libraries. Before you donate, check your eligibility. There are certain factors that affect your eligibility to donate blood such as health history, travel history, age, and weight
You should also check to see if your donation center requires you to make an appointment ahead of time. Bring a form of ID with you, and make sure you are well hydrated.
What should you expect?
- If you made an appointment ahead of time, you will likely need to check in when you arrive.
- You will then sit or lie down, and a nurse will clean the area on your arm where the blood will be drawn.
- You might feel a slight prick, but overall, the experience will not be painful and will probably be over faster than you’d expect.
- You will likely be told to wait a few minutes afterwards to make sure you do not feel faint. Often, refreshments are provided during this waiting period.
- When you are done waiting, you are good to go and you can leave knowing that you contributed to saving lives!
Whether you are a regular blood donor, or you are considering it for the first time, this is a great time to donate. You can even bring your friends or family
along and donate blood together. The more people who donate, the more lives can be saved.