Because the winter season makes blood donor numbers go down due to various factors like seasonal celebration or winter diseases, the Red Cross urges people to participate in the National Blood Donor Month of January. Numerous blood drives will be conducted across the country in the hopes of refilling the blood supply that is under the threat of decreasing massively if not constant blood donations aren’t made.
This time of the year is the worst when it comes to the numbers of donations. People who are either enjoying themselves after celebrating Christmas or continue their shopping sprees in anticipation of the New Year, or just because severe weather conditions or various cold season illnesses, all of these quell the number of blood donations.
Clinics and hospitals are not picky at all, asking people with blood type AB, O, A negative and B negative to go to their nearest blood drive and help those in need. Add to this the fact that Christmas, even though it has passed, is the holiday of gift giving, what better gift can be made other than a better shot at life for those currently undergoing surgery or other patients in dire need of blood transfusions.
In order for you to be qualified as a blood donor, you have to present a driver’s license or a blood donor card, or two other forms of identification. Young 17-year-old adults need to weigh less than 110 pounds and must have generally good health.
In some states, though, the age will be 16 and parental consent will be required. Students under the age of 18 need to also be within some weight and height parameters in order to be qualified as suitable blood donors.
According to a release from the Red Cross earlier this week, over 175.000 blood and platelet donations will be required in the two weeks prior to the new year. In order to better provide information regarding blood drive locations and schedules, the company has released a smartphone app.
The Red Cross Blood Donor App for Android and iOS is free to download, and besides location and schedules, it also lets users keep track of the total donation number, earn rewards and invite other friends to join in and save lives. Shortage alerts will also be immediately posted on the app, letting users know which clinic is in dire need of blood donors so that they can donate there and not at a clinic that has a steady supply.
Although the Red Cross urges people to participate in the National Blood Donor Month of January, people should donate blood throughout the year, not just during this period. On average, the blood from just one donor can save up to three lives. So download the app and save some people, allowing them to at least celebrate this New Year in the company of their loved ones.