National Blood Donor Month

January is National Blood Donor Month—a month that encourages people to consider donating blood. Current statistics indicate that the need for blood is at an all-time high. Over the course of just one year, 4.5 million Americans will require a complete blood transfusion, and 30 people per minute will need a blood product.

Unfortunately, only about 10% of the people in the U.S. who are eligible to donate blood actually do so, even though almost 40% of the population is eligible. That’s why this month is so important. Donating blood is something that saves lives on a daily basis, so anyone and everyone who can donate blood should do so. Not just during this month, but all year long.

The History of National Blood Donor Month

In 1969, the United States Senate passed Resolution 154—a resolution that asked the U.S. President to proclaim January as National Blood Donor Month, which then-President Richard Nixon did on December 31st. It has been used ever since to raise public awareness about the importance of blood donation and to encourage people to give blood if they can.

This month was chosen because the winter season is especially hard on national blood supplies. This is not only due to increased seasonal demand for blood due to accidents but also because fewer people donate blood due to seasonal illnesses and bad road conditions. This month allows the Red Cross to replenish their blood supplies so they can ensure hospitals are properly stocked.

Facts About Blood Donations

Let’s check out a few blood donation facts before we move on to the conclusion of this article.

  • A single car accident victim can require upwards of 100 pints of blood.
  • Plasma makes up 55 percent of blood volume.
  • Many patients with sickle cell disease need monthly transfusions.
  • One in seven people admitted to a hospital needs blood.

Observing National Blood Donor Month

First and foremost, we encourage everyone who is medically able to donate blood to do so during this month. It’s estimated that over 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed daily in the U.S. Type O blood is especially needed because it can be transfused to patients of all blood types, but any type of blood is always needed.

We should all do our part to ensure that blood supplies remain at a level where they can save people’s lives. Regardless of whether a person can donate blood or not, it’s important for everyone to spread the word about this month using the hashtag #NationalBloodDonorMonth.

When is it?
This year (2024)
January 1 Monday
Next year (2025)
January 1 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
January 1 Sunday
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