January serves as National Blood Donor Month in the United States. Every year, this month recognizes the importance of donating blood and encourages new donors to come forward and make contributions. It all started when the former president of the United States, Richard Nixon, had issued a proclamation declaring January as National Blood Donor Month due to inclement weather and seasonal illnesses. Since then, the entire nation has celebrated the month to save lives and meet the blood demand.
Despite medical and technological advancements, blood cannot be manufactured artificially. Doctors and all medical experts are dependent on generous donors to meet the demand. While there’s always a need for blood, the situation is even worse this year. In recent years, the blood supply in the United States has dipped to concerning levels, making hospitals delay the transfusion. Blood centers around the country have reported an unstable supply that is even less than a one-day contribution of several essential blood types. Beyond this, the blood supply is further disrupted with the country confronting the surge in COVID-19 cases. Despite this growth in inventory concerns, the country continues to see a drop in donor turnout and an increase in the cancellation of blood drives. This makes it important to stabilize the situation and fulfill the constant need for blood. During this tumultuous time, National Blood Donor Month becomes an excellent opportunity to get people to step forward and donate blood.
If you really want to make a difference in the lives of others, you can contribute to the donor month. However, if you are still wondering how to make it work, read this article. It will make you aware of the power of a blood donor and help you get involved in saving lives.
Who Can Donate Blood?- Eligibility Criteria
To guarantee the safety of both the donor and the patient who will get the blood, there are some conditions that a donor must fulfill. Meeting such conditions makes them eligible for donating blood. Here are the requirements that should be fulfilled:
- Donor must be in the age bracket of 18 to 65 years
- Weight should not be less than 50 kgs
- Person must be in good health at the time of donating blood
- Pulse rate and the temperature of the donor must be normal
- Hemoglobin should be at least 12.5 grams
Reasons to Donate
Donating blood is a safe and straightforward process that holds significant benefits. On the occasion of National Blood Donor Month, let’s learn why it is crucial to make a donation.
- Blood requirements are pretty high in the United States. Every two seconds, someone needs blood.
- Donated blood comes in great help during surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries.
- One donation of blood can be used for saving more than one life.
- Donating blood does not only save lives but also makes people feel good. It provides them with energy and makes them feel active.
- Since there is no substitute available, donated blood is the only way to treat people.
- There is a massive shortage of blood compared to the total requirement.
- Blood components have a short shelf life which requires a constant supply.
Observe National Blood Donor Month- Ways To Make A Difference
If you are eager to be a part of the change in society this National Blood Donor Month, here are some easy and quick ways to do so. While these will cost little of your time, they will help provide someone with a better life.
1. Donate Blood
By finding a blood donation center and scheduling an appointment, a person can make a huge difference and save someone’s life. This hour-long process can mean a lifetime for someone who is in need of blood. However, blood donation should not only be made just in honor of National Blood Donor Month; it should be done whenever possible. People must consider the donor month as an opportunity to come out of their comfort zone and take the first step in the world of blood donation.
2. Host Blood Drive
In case you are not eligible for donating blood, you can step up to host a blood drive. You can either set up a van or get in touch with local authorities, schools, colleges, or offices to provide you with a space to host the drive. Then, you can encourage people to donate blood on the occasion of National Blood Donor Month.
3. Spread The Word and Raise Awareness
Indeed, raising awareness is one of the best ways of making a contribution. While almost everyone knows about blood donation, most of them are not aware of how to do it, what the process will be, where they can donate blood, whether they are eligible or not, and more. So, this year, make sure you spread the word about the donation and provide them with an answer so that they can also actively participate.
4. Make A Financial Donation
Financial aid is another way of changing lives. By giving even a few dollars, you can help organizations with the entire process of blood donation. Although the donation is free-of-cost, a significant amount is involved in the process. It is linked with collecting, testing, labeling, shipping, and storing blood. Other than this, the funds are needed for quality assurance and educating donors.
5. Become A Volunteer
Volunteering with the organizations involved in blood donation is another great way of contributing on National Blood Donor Month. It requires applicants to discover the opportunities and support the donation process. Being a volunteer, you can deliver the much-needed service to the community and make a real difference in someone’s life.
6. Talk To Donors And Overcome Their Fear And Worries
While a large portion of the population can donate blood, they won’t do so because of their fear. Some feel that they don’t have time to donate; others are afraid of the process. So, this National Blood Donor month, make sure you reach out to prospective donors, talk to them about the process, and help them overcome their fear. Without a doubt, communication is the best way of combating fear.
The Bottom Line
To help the nation fight against this blood shortage and maintain a robust and safe blood supply, it becomes the need of the hour for people to come forward and donate blood. National Blood Donor Month is the perfect opportunity to start with the donation. So, if you want to save lives, take out some time, read this article, and donate the most precious gift– blood. Remember, “Every donation is critical and can make a huge difference.” Let's make lifesaving a habit!
1. When can’t an individual donate blood?
Here are the individuals who are not eligible for donating blood:
- Who has been treated for malaria in the last three months
- Individual who resides in endemic areas
- Who is suffering from cold or flu
- Who had a tattoo in the last 12 months
- Person who is suffering from any form of cancer
- Individual who has injected drugs intravenously, even once
2. Does blood get examined after donation?
After the blood is drawn, it has to go through multiple tests in order to prevent problems for the transfusion recipient. First, it is tested for blood type and then for infectious diseases like Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus, HIV-1, HIV-2, Zika virus, Syphilis, etc.
3. Where can blood donations be made?
There are several locations where an individual can donate blood during National Blood Donor Month. They can make donations at workplaces, universities, schools, churches, hospitals, and community blood donation centers. Other than this, there are mobile blood drives that travel to different locations and make the entire process convenient.
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