Welcome to National Blood Donor. What better way is there to start off the new year than to give blood? New Years resolutions are still fresh and people are feeling ready to make a change. Due to the cold and flu season, January is a rough month for blood donation, which is exactly why it is National Blood Donor Month.
Red Cross has a lot on their plate, on average they need to collect 15,000 pints of blood every single day for the patients that need them. That being said, everyone’s help is appreciated. The most necessary blood types are O negative, A negative, and B negative. Each blood donation brings hope to someone in need.
In addition to blood donation, platelet donation is also needed. Donating platelets can be done every two weeks. For those that don’t know, blood is taken from the donor, ran through centrifugation, which isolates plasma and platelets, and then the remaining red blood cells are returned to the donor.
48-year-old John Baker has donated 100 gallons of blood. He commented on how it started with him. “My father gave blood as often as he could. I had never donated before, thinking it would hinder me in some way. I was very active in running in high school, and I thought it would limit my ability. It doesn’t.” Baker is the 18th donor in the Tampa Bay area to have donated 100 gallons of blood.
Another individual, Bill Cell, age 85, has donated 85 gallons of blood. He started back in 1946 due to the cash and insurance incentives but now continues to donate without them. “They’ll tell me what my blood went for, like a cancer patient or an accident victim,” said Cell, when asked to explain why he continues to donate. “I have met a couple of people who needed it.” The connection is real, when people are in need of help individuals like Cell are there to help and have seen where the blood goes, where it needs to be.
Wanting to donate blood is one thing, but there are a few requirements that must be met. The donor needs to be at least 110 pounds, in good health, and bring a form (or two) of identification. In some states parental consent is necessary for those 16 years old. For more information about where you can donate visit the red cross link at the bottom of the article or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2367).
Hopefully 2014 brings happiness to many; to help, simply donate blood. Remember, January is National Blood Donor month. Due to the weather and holidays it may be hard to find the time to give a blood donation, but, that is why January requires the most help. To donate blood and platelets call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit the website under the related articles section. Together all of us can make a difference and save lives.
By Garrett Jutte