January is National Blood Donor Month

Photographer: John Meinke, Red Cross Volunteer

Photographer: John Meinke, Red Cross Volunteer

Make a resolution you can keep in 2016! Become a regular blood or platelet donor with the American Red Cross. January is National Blood Donor Month, which makes it the perfect time to schedule your first appointment of the new year.

National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970 with the goal of increasing blood and platelet donations during winter – one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs. Severe winter weather may result in canceled blood drives, and seasonal illnesses, like the flu, can cause donors to be temporarily unable to give.

The Red Cross needs blood and platelet donors of all types to maintain a sufficient supply. Eligible donors with types O, B negative and A negative blood are encouraged to donate double red cells where available. During a double red cell donation, two units of red blood cells are collected while most of the plasma and platelets are returned to the donor.

Make your commitment to help save lives in the new year by using the Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS to schedule your appointment.

January is National Blood Donor Month

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January is National Blood Donor Month and this year, American Red Cross supporters have a new way to help save lives through blood and platelet donation with the Sleeves Up virtual blood drive.

SleevesUp is a first-of-its-kind website that lets you create a virtual blood drive and encourage colleagues, friends and family members to give blood or platelets, or make a financial donation – no matter where they are located across the country.

Creating a SleevesUp campaign is a simple four-step process:

  • Create an account at org/SleevesUp or log in with an existing Facebook or Twitter account.
  • Personalize the campaign with video, pictures or your personal story.
  • Set a goal and timeframe for the campaign.
  • Invite others to join the campaign via email or social media networks, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

IMAG6535_1National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970 and recognizes the importance of giving blood and platelets while honoring those who roll up a sleeve to help patients in need. The winter months can be especially difficult to collect enough blood and platelets to meet patient needs. Inclement weather can result in blood drive cancellations, and seasonal illnesses, like the flu, can prevent some donors from making or keeping appointments to give.

Blood donors with all blood types, particularly O negative, A negative and B negative, and platelet donors are needed to ensure blood is available for patients. If you haven’t made a donation appointment yet for 2015, do it now at redcrossblood.org. Then, check out SleevesUp and invite others to join you making a lifesaving donation.