January can be a particularly difficult month for blood centers. Blood is traditionally in short supply during this time due to the holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather and illness. A reduction in turnout can put the nation’s blood inventory at a critical low.
To help ensure an adequate blood supply this January, the Coastal Bend Blood Center is once again joining with AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks) to stress the importance of donating blood. Since 1970, January has been recognized as National Blood Donor Month.
The Coastal Bend Blood Center is eternally grateful for the generosity and kindness of each and every one of its volunteer blood donors and looks forward to continuing to work together to save lives here in the Coastal Bend.
The first January blood drive was held yesterday. The next is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 21, at the Live Oak Nursing & Rehabilitation at 2951 Hwy 281, from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. The next blood drive will be held on Thursday, Jan. 21, at Super S Foods, at 501 N. Nueces St., from 4 - 6 p.m.
AABB estimates that eight million volunteers donate blood each year. According to the 2005 National Blood Collection and Utilization Report about 15 million units of whole blood and red blood cells were donated in the United States in 2004. However, fewer than 5 percent of healthy Americans eligible to donate blood actually donate each year.
Volunteer blood donors contribute to nearly all the blood used for patient care in the United States. Blood not only makes many medical and surgical procedures possible, but also saves the lives of accident victims, cancer, cardiac, and organ transplant patients. Each day, patients across the country receive approximately 39,000 units of this lifesaving resource. This year alone, as many as five million patients will require blood transfusions.