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January is National Blood Donor Month
January is National Blood Donor Month image
January is National Blood Donor Month
Posted Jan 14, 2022

January is National Blood Donor month. According to the Red Cross, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. This blood is needed for cancer patients, accident victims, transplant patients and those with chronic illness. AML patients are among those that depend on blood transfusions. Leukemia affects the blood and marrow and chemotherapy can disrupt blood cell production. Thus, blood transfusions are essential throughout a person's care.

Transfusions with red blood cells (RBC) and platelets (PLT) are vital in the treatment process for AML. Patients often receive antibiotics to prevent and treat infections and will need blood transfusions throughout chemotherapy. The chemotherapy drugs can temporarily impair the blood cell production in the marrow which affects the immune system. As leukemia progresses, so will the frequency of transfusions. Blood donation is absolutely necessary for cancer patients.

The month of January is usually a period of critical blood shortage and this is especially true this year. People don’t often have time to donate during the holidays. It is also a time when sickness can prevent donors from giving blood. Because of this, in 1969, January was declared Blood Donor month to honor donors and encourage others to give blood. Currently, The Red Cross is experiencing an extreme shortage. Blood supply levels are dangerously low. If you are able, please share this article to encourage your friends and family to find a time to donate blood.

Donation sites can be found here

COVID-19 and Blood Donation

If you have received a COVID-19 vaccination and booster, you will need to provide the manufacturer's name. There is no waiting period to donate.
If you have had/have COVID-19, you must wait 14 days from your positive COVID-19 test, and then you may donate. You must be symptom-free for those 14 days.

Here are the basics of blood donation:

  • You must be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds.
  • Prior to your donation, you will receive a free health screening (this includes the collection of your vitals: blood pressure, hemoglobin, pulse, etc.)
  • Approximately 0.5L of blood will be collected.
  • The complete donation process takes about an hour. The actual blood collection is 5-10 minutes.
  • Your donation can save approximately 3 lives.
  • Once you donate blood, your body produces more blood. It takes 24 hours to replace plasma and 4-6 weeks to replace red blood cells.
  • Blood can be donated every 8 weeks.

The most common needs for blood types:

  • O positive- 39%
  • A positive- 30%
  • O negative- 9%
  • B positive- 9%
  • A negative- 6%
  • AB positive- 4%
  • B negative- 2%
  • AB negative- 1%

In an emergency, O blood types can be used for anyone (Universal Donors). AB plasma may also be a Universal Donor.

Blood donations benefit patients of all ages. Donors provide lifesaving care to patients in need. If someone is unable to donate blood, The Red Cross always accepts financial donations.

Please share this article with all of your friends and family in order to raise awareness for National Blood Donor month!
 

The author Lisa Foster

about the author
Lisa Foster

Lisa Foster is a mom of 3 daughters, a puzzle lover, writer and HealthTree advocate. She believes in the mission of the foundation and the team that builds it forward. She calls Houston, Texas home. 

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