According to the American Red Cross, winter is “one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs.” That’s because of busy holiday schedules, bad weather which leads to canceled blood drives, and other things. Plus, seasonal illnesses such as the flu can cause regular donors miss a chance to donate blood.

How to Observe National Blood Donor Month

Find a blood drive held in honor of National Blood Donor Month near you and make a donation! You can save time by using the Red Cross’s RapidPass system to complete your pre-donation reading and health history before you make a donation. Even if you aren’t eligible to donate blood, plasma, or platelets, you can volunteer or make a financial donation.

National Blood Donor Month inspires people to donate. Those donations can inspire others to donate and create an exponential increase in blood donations! If you plan on donating blood or have already donated, encourage friends and family to do the same.

Learn and remember your blood type
What’s your blood type? Some examples: O positive donors are needed more often than other blood types. O negative donors are considered “universal donors.” AB positive donors are “universal recipients.” If you have blood type O, B negative, or A negative, make a Power Red donation. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during their donation, boosting your life-saving potential!

5 Amazing Facts About Blood Donations

1.Not enough blood for all of us
According to the American Red Cross, about 38 percent of the U.S. population can donate blood — but only 10 percent actually do. If you’re not sure if you’re able to donate blood, visit to check eligibility information.

2.Fill ‘er up with regular — donations
Brookhaven National Laboratory says that people who begin donating blood at age 17 and donate every eight weeks will have donated 48 gallons of blood by age 76.

3. Donate blood and get medical info
When we donate blood, labs examine the donation for infectious diseases such as HIV and West Nile virus.

4. Dogs can donate, too!
Your dog can donate blood, too. Check with your veterinarian and the Humane Society to make sure you know the local rules and regulations for this type of donation.

The multiplier effect is huge
One pint of blood has the potential to save three lives!

Why National Blood Donor Month is Important

Donating blood save lives
Someone needs blood every few seconds in the United States. And more than 4.5 million Americans would die every year without lifesaving blood transfusions. National Blood Donor Month reminds people how important blood donations can be.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving
The American Red Cross needs 13,000 blood donations every single day to maintain an appropriate blood supply. Fortunately, eligible blood donors can donate blood every eight weeks.

It’s good for donors, too
The American Journal of Epidemiology reports that blood donors are 88 percent less likely to have a heart attack.

Make a donation today!

Adapted from NationalToday.Com and RedCrossBlood.Org