The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to make a commitment to donate blood to help ensure a sufficient blood supply in the new year, beginning in January with National Blood Donor Month.
Britton Lund made her first blood donation as a high school student. Though it was easy and she knew her type O negative blood was in high demand, she only gave sporadically over the next 10 years. Then, her sister was diagnosed with brain cancer, motivating Lund to become a regular donor.
“I will continue to give until they tell me I can’t anymore,” she said. “It is a quick, easy way to make a difference.”
National Blood Donor Month highlights the importance of volunteer blood and platelet donors like Lund and their impact on patient health care. National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970 with the goal of increasing blood and platelet donations during winter — one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs. Severe winter weather may result in canceled blood drives, and seasonal illnesses, like the flu, can cause donors to be temporarily unable to give.
Blood donors of all types are needed to maintain a sufficient supply. Eligible donors with types O, B negative and A negative blood are encouraged to donate double red cells where available. During a double red cell donation, two units of red cells are collected while most of the plasma and platelets are returned to the donor.
To make an appointment to donate blood, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App from app stores, visit www.redcrossblood.org or call (800) RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Upcoming blood donation opportunities:
- Bethalto: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 27, Bethalto Senior Citizens Center, 100 E Central St.
- Godfrey: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 26, Reliance Bank, 2810 Godfrey Road
- Granite City: 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 19, Knights of Columbus Council 1098, 4225 Old Alton Road; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 21, Gateway Regional Medical Center, 2100 Madison Ave.
- Moro: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 28, Meadowbrook Intermediate, 111 West Roosevelt St.