Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. That means, in the time it took you to take a 10-minute shower this morning, 300 people were in serious need of a blood donation. Despite this dire need, less than 38 percent of the population is eligible to give blood or platelets—and less than 10 percent of eligible people do. If you are part of the eligible 38 percent, you could be a valuable resource to those in need.
January is National Blood Donor Month. If you haven’t chosen a New Year’s resolution for 2019, or you haven’t started taking steps to accomplish the one you made, make saving lives your resolution. Through one blood donation, you could save up to three lives. You could be a lifesaver in 2019.
In addition to saving lives, donated blood improves health for people in many situations that require a transfusion. Some examples the World Health Organization mentions are:
- Women with complications of pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancies and hemorrhage before, during, or after childbirth
- Children with severe anemia, often resulting from malaria or malnutrition
- People with severe trauma after man-made and natural disasters
- People undergoing complex medical and surgical procedures
- Cancer patients
- People with chronic conditions such as sickle cell disease
Blood makes a huge difference when someone is in desperate need of it. The need for blood supply from donors is constant, because blood products can be stored only for a limited time before use. According to the World Health Organization, “regular blood donations by a sufficient number of healthy people are needed to ensure that safe blood will be available whenever and wherever it is needed.”
In the case of an accident, we’d like to think there will be enough blood available when one of us or a loved one needs it. To make sure this is the case, become a donor in 2019.
If you have never donated before, have no fear. It takes about 10 minutes, and—just like that—by giving your blood you are making a lifesaving difference for someone else.
To find a blood drive or donation center near you, use the American Red Cross’ locator here.