Written By Miranda
January has been observed as National Blood Donor Month since the 1970s in an effort to increase winter blood donations. The winter months, specifically following the holidays, are one of the most difficult times for blood donation centers to recieve needed blood donations. Inclement weather and seasonal illness often prevent donors from their donations, and thus winter is one of the most difficult times of the year to collect enough blood to meet the needs of patients.
Donating blood is extremely important and can save lives. Blood donations from a single person can save multiple lives. Donations are essential for trauma patients, transplants, chronic illnesses, and more. Less than 10% of eligible donors actually donate in the United States. Typically eligibility requirements include being above 18 years old and above 118lbs and free of any major diseases. Personal benefits of blood donation include not only the satisfaction of providing blood to patients who need it and saving lives, but also finding out your blood type and receiving free blood tests and having reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. The blood donation process is regulated by the FDA. You can trust blood donation centers to maintain a safe environment for donations.
NC State students can call 1-800-RED CROSS to make an appointment at the North Raleigh Red Cross Donation Center to donate blood, platelets, and plasma. Remember to ask about COVID-19 precautions being taken to ensure your and others’ safety. Be sure to also bring a driver’s license or passport with you. The center is about a 20 minute drive from campus. Be sure to also look out for blood donation drives on campus in the coming year, if restrictions allow.