January is National Blood Donor Month!

Drayton Carlberg, donating blood for the first time at the 12 Hours of Giving on Decbember 23, 2013.
Drayton Carlberg, donating blood for the first time at the 12 Hours of Giving on December 23, 2013.

As National Blood Donor Month, January is a great time to recognize our incredible donors and remind everyone that the need for blood is constant. Just a few weeks ago on December 23, 55 new blood donors, joined hundreds of veteran donors for the 12 Hours of Giving Holiday Blood Drive. First-time blood donors,  Drayton Carlberg (right), Lia Capaldini (below), and Hunter Carlberg (bottom right) participated in this extraordinary event which collected 458 pints of blood – which was 92% of our goal!

Lia Capaldini, Augsburg College senior, donating blood for the first time at the 12 Hours of Giving on Decbember 23, 2013.
Lia Capaldini, Augsburg College senior, donating blood for the first time at the 12 Hours of Giving on Decbember 23, 2013.

Weather and road conditions have improved, but recent severe winter weather has taken a toll on blood and platelet donations, both regionally and across the country.  As of Thursday, Jan. 9, approximately 300 blood drives across 25 states were canceled across the U.S. due to the snow and extreme cold. The blood drive cancellations resulted in a shortfall of nearly 8,800 blood and platelet donations since Jan. 2. The Red Cross is seeing an urgent need for platelet donors, as well as blood donors with types O positive and negative, A negative and B negative blood. Eligible donors with these blood types are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to give in the coming days.

Hunter Carlberg (glasses)
Hunter Carlberg, donating blood for the first time at the 12 Hours of Giving on December 23, 2013.

So, in honor of National Blood Donor Month this January, please help us meet our blood donation goals. On average, the American Red Cross must collect about 15,000 pints of blood every day from volunteer blood and platelet donors to meet the needs of patients. Eligible donors in the North Central Blood Services Region can help boost donations immediately. Red Cross blood donation centers in the Region will temporarily offer extended hours to allow for more blood donation appointments. From Jan. 10 to Jan. 20, 2014 Red Cross blood donation centers will add one additional hour each day. Also, please join the Red Cross in thanking all blood donors for their help  in ensuring a stable blood supply for patients all across the country.

Author: American Red Cross

The American Red Cross provides relief to victims of disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. The Minnesota Region serves 5.2 million people across Minnesota and part of western Wisconsin.

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