January is National Blood Donor Month

Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 7:34 PM EST
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(WBNG) - Someone is in need of blood every two seconds. To help with the blood supply, this month is National Blood Donor Month.

According to the not-for-profit association AABB, it originated in 1969 when President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation declaring the monthly observance.

Area Booking Manager Sheila Sullivan with the American Red Cross went over why donations are typically down this time of year and why there’s a focus on donations in January.

”We’re coming off the holidays, our colleges aren’t in session they don’t come back until the mid to the end of this month,” said Sullivan. “There are different viruses, the flu [and] the stomach bug. Illness is going around.” Sullivan mentioned inclement weather can add to the decline in donations, too.

There’s a variety of blood donation types. Some of the types, according to the American Red Cross website, include whole blood donation, a platelet donation, and plasma donation.

A whole blood donation takes roughly an hour and can be donated at any blood drive.

A platelet donation can take about roughly three hours when done by appointment and they’re cells in your blood that form clots and stop bleeding.

The plasma option is also donated through booking an appointment, which takes about just over an hour.

“Platelets and plamsa are not done at community blood drives,” said Sullivan. “They are done in our donor center in Johnson City. We have a donor center in Johnson City, we have a donor center in Syracuse, one in Albany, one in Rochester, one in Buffalo.”

When it comes to our local blood drives, Sullivan said to head to this website and then enter the desired zip code. The website also has tips for success for the day of your donation.