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January is National Blood Donor Month

First celebrated in January 1970, National Blood Donor Month raises awareness about the necessity of blood donations and honors donors who help patients. The winter season is an especially difficult time for blood donations. Severe weather causes cancelled blood drives and many potential donors may be infected with the flu.

If you have never donated blood before, this month is a perfect opportunity. Kick off the first month of 2015 by helping others. All blood types are always needed, and although an estimated 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, less than 10% actually do each year. Contact your local blood bank or Red Cross to donate blood. Here are a few quick facts about blood donations. Did you know...

  • Type O-negative is the universal blood type and may be transfused to patients with any blood type.
  • One pint of blood can save up to three lives.
  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • If you began donating blood at age 17 and donated every 56 days until you reached 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood, potentially helping save more than 1,000 lives.
  • More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.
  • Type O-negative is provided for all newborns who need blood.