January is Blood Donor Month


Aeris Silvia, graphics artist

Aeris Silvia, Graphics Artist

According to BloodCenter.org, January has been National Blood Donor Month for more than 50 years. The then-president proclaimed this month to honor blood donation volunteers and to encourage more people to donate blood. Donated blood is essential to many medical needs.

AmericasBlood.org states, “Three percent of the U.S. population donates blood each year. A blood transfusion occurs every two seconds in America and a single donation can save multiple lives.”

Some areas in Alabama are already facing blood shortages. WVUA reported that West Alabama in general is low on its blood supply. “DCH Director of Clinical Laboratories Mark Deakle said the system usually has about 55 units of Type O-positive blood. That morning, there were 17 units.” Alabama Public Radio also cited recent bad weather events as a cause for the shortage.

Many high school students are eligible to donate blood. As long as you meet the age and weight requirements, donors can be in and out in about an hour.

Outside of the usual school-hosted blood drives, interested blood donors can also donate blood at local blood supply locations. LifeSouth on Madison Blvd is a nearby location, and it has positive reviews. One Google review stated, “They know how to NOT hurt you during the process and make sure [you’re] comfortable.” LifeSouth states that donors “must be in good health, 17 years old or older (or 16 years old with parental permission), weigh at least 110 pounds and show a valid photo I.D.”

Sometimes donors can receive perks like t-shirts, gift cards, cholesterol tests, and even a chance to win Super Bowl tickets if you donate with the American Red Cross.