January is National Blood Donor Month

AmNews Staff Reports | 1/9/2015, 1:31 p.m.
The American Red Cross encourages eligible blood donors to become regular blood donors this year, starting during National Blood Donor ...
American Red Cross

The American Red Cross encourages eligible blood donors to become regular blood donors this year, starting during National Blood Donor Month in January.

January is a challenging time for blood donations. Inclement weather can result in blood drive cancellations, and cold and flu season may cause some donors to be unable to make or keep blood donation appointments. National Blood Donor Month, celebrated in January since 1970, raises awareness of the need for blood during the winter and throughout the year, while honoring those who roll up a sleeve to help patients in need.

Donors of all blood types are needed, especially those with O negative, A negative and B negative. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to patients with any blood type. Types A and B negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients.

According to the American Red Cross, increasing African-American donations is vital because blood types O and B, the blood types of approximately 70 percent of African-Americans, are the blood types most in demand. Donations can help African-Americans suffering from diseases such as sickle cell anemia, cancer and heart disease.

To learn more about donating blood and to schedule an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).