Throughout the month of January, we’ll be featuring a 4-part series about the importance of blood donation. For more than 40 years, January has been National Blood Donor Month.
It’s no coincidence that this month was chosen as the perfect time to encourage people to donate blood. With the busy holiday season behind us – combined with cold and flu season – January is notorious for blood supplies dropping to dangerous levels.
It’s not just this time of year people need blood though. There’s always a high demand for blood donations. Actually, 44,000 units of blood are needed every day in the United States – that comes out to someone needing blood every 2 seconds.
Since 1921 when donating blood first became a common practice, there has been an ever-growing need for blood and other blood products. And with millions of units being transfused each year for a variety of reasons, there is a constant urgency to replenish the supply.
To highlight the importance of maintaining America’s blood supply, we’ll list a few facts this week to demonstrate how important it is to donate blood.
- 38% of Americans are eligible to donate, but less than 10% do.
- A donor can donate whole blood every 56 days.
- There are 15.7 million blood donations made each year by 9.2 million donors.
- 30 million blood components are transfused every year.
- Donated blood must be used within 42 days of collection.
Throughout the month, you’ll discover how collected blood is used in hospitals, clinics and for research, along with how it’s collected and processed.