January is National Blood Donor Month. Blood Donor Month recognizes the contributions of blood and platelet donors and the goal is to encourage more people to donate. About 38% of United States citizens are eligible to donate blood, but less than 10% actually do. There is a decline in blood donation between the months of November to January due to traveling for the holidays, winter weather conditions, and illnesses like the cold, flu, and now the coronavirus. Students are responsible for a large portion of blood donations throughout the year, but the numbers drop significantly when school is out for winter break.
Blood Donation Rules
Before you donate, please be aware of the rules:
- You must be at least 17 years old or have parental permission if you are younger.
- You will need valid identification, like a driver’s license or passport.
- You must weigh 110 pounds or more.
- You must be free of any major organ disease.
- You need to provide information about any medications you are taking or any medical conditions you may have.
- Recent surgery or travel can defer your donation.
Who Does Blood Donation Help?
When you donate blood, you help save the lives of vulnerable people including:
- Cancer patients
- Victims of traumatic accidents
- Individuals with sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, and kidney or liver diseases
- Women with complications during childbirth
- Newborns with health problems
Benefits for the Donor
A benefit of blood donation for you is that it comes with a free, mini check-up. Your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and hemoglobin will be checked. After donation, your blood will be sent to a lab where it is tested for infectious diseases or viruses, including HIV and hepatitis. You will be notified immediately if a positive result returns.
Now that you are aware of Blood Donor Month, how can you help? You can, of course, donate blood, host a blood drive, or just spread the word in person or online. Find local blood drives and donation centers near you with the link below:
At Rutherford’s Best Doctors, we can help connect you to the right medical professional in Rutherford County. Give us a call at (615) 869-0030 for more information!