Did you know more than 4.5 million Americans will require a blood transfusion each year? Not only that, but only 10% of eligible blood donors will actually take the time to donate blood, and because of COVID-19, the amount of available blood is lower than usual. The blood shortage means it’s more important than ever to donate blood, and what better time to do it than January, during National Blood Donor Month?
Why should I donate blood?
Donating just one pint of whole blood saves up to three lives, and it only takes up to 10 minutes to donate. Whole blood expires in 42 days, but can be separated into plasma, platelets, and red blood cells to still be usable.
Blood donations are used to help newborns, accident victims, people undergoing surgery, COVID-19 patients, and so much more. Your simple donation could save someone’s life, so don’t put off donating.
What if I don’t know my blood type?
The good news is you can find out your blood type through donating blood. Not only that, but the phlebotomist who draws your blood will also test it before collecting it and will be able to let you know if your blood carries any infectious diseases that may prevent you from donating.
Blood donation has never been safer, and many myths surrounding blood donation eligibility, such as you can’t donate if you have tattoos, have been debunked. Not sure you’re eligible? Go anyway. You may learn that you are—and that your blood type is urgently needed.
Where can I donate blood?
Keep your eye out for blood drive events hosted in the community throughout the year. Many places, such as the Hancock County Public Library, host occasional blood drives that don’t require appointments (although signing up for time slots in advance is often preferred).
If you like to schedule things in advance, or you’re nervous about going on a mobile blood bus and would rather donate in a facility, you can visit the Versiti Blood Center of Indiana to find a blood donation facility near you.
Whatever might be holding you back from donating blood, don’t let it stop you, especially during this time of critical need. Donating blood is more important than ever, so don’t wait. Make an appointment or visit a blood drive near you today.