DAYTON, Ohio – If you are searching for a New Year’s resolution, a vital choice is just an arm’s length away. Community Blood Center begins 2016 and January National Blood Donor Month facing a challenge to the blood supply. CBC is welcoming new donors, urging former donors to return, and thanking regular donors for their dedication to helping neighbors in need.
CBC blood donations were significantly slower this holiday period due to the long Christmas and New Year’s weekends and five full week days with no mobile blood drives. During that time emergency surgeries took place requiring significant use of particular blood types.
Type O negative is the universal blood type, commonly used to treat accident victims, and usually the first to run low. But currently the more common blood types of O positive and A positive are in low supply. Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment online at www.DonorTime.com.
National Blood Donor Month is observed in January because of the expected challenges to the blood supply. Winter weather can make travel difficult and disrupt the blood drive schedules at high schools and work places. Seasonal illnesses can also interfere with donating.
National Blood Donor Month is also a time to honor all those who donate whole blood, platelets, and plasma.
“Winter presents so many challenges,” said CBC Chief Operating Officer Jodi Minneman. “As I’m saying this, somewhere a patient needs blood, so the urgency never goes away. But not a day of the year goes by without hearing the stories and seeing the positive impact blood donations make on people’s lives. We can’t thank our donors enough. They give so much for the good of our community.”
CBC must register approximately 300 blood and platelet donors per day, with an average of seven mobile blood drives per day, to meet the needs of 24 partner hospitals in CBC’s 15-county service area.
Blood is needed approximately every two seconds to treat patients with cancer and other diseases, organ transplant recipients, and accident victims. Car accident victims may require dozens of units of blood and blood products.
Only 37 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to give blood, and less than 10 percent donate annually. That may be due to misinformation or a fear of the process. A whole blood donation takes about an hour, but the actual draw may take about 10 minutes.
If you are at least 17 years of age (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and meet other donor requirements, you may be eligible to donate blood. Learn more at www.GivingBlood.org.