Showing posts with label blood types. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blood types. Show all posts

Friday, January 17, 2014

January is National Blood Donor Month

Give and save a life! January is National Blood Donor Month, and individuals are encouraged to give blood. Whether you’re a seasoned donor or are considering the selfless act of donating for the first time, read on for facts about blood donation.

National Blood Donor Month

Facts about donating blood:

  • Each pint of blood donated can be split into platelets, plasma and red cells, which can save up to 3 lives.
  • Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • For every 7 people entering the hospital, 1 person will need blood.
  • Blood can’t be artificially made.
  • Women have 10 pints of blood in their bodies; men have 12 pints.
  • Typically, 1 pint of blood is collected during blood donation.

Why is National Blood Donor Month necessary?

According to experts, blood is traditionally in shorter supply during the winter months due to holidays, travel, inclement weather and illness.  Designating January National Blood Donor Month also brings awareness to blood donation in general, encouraging individuals to donate throughout the year.

What is the blood donation process?

The donation process consists of:

  • Registration.
  • A brief medical screening.
  • Blood collection.
  • Refreshments.

How long does the donation process take?

The entire process, from start to finish, typically takes about one hour at a blood donor center. Actual collection of blood is normally 10-20 minutes, depending upon the type of donation.

What safety precautions are in place for donating and receiving blood?

The supplies used to collect blood are sterile and only used once. You can not contract HIV or any other infectious disease from donating blood. Donated blood undergoes 13 different tests, 10 for infectious diseases, before it is available for use.

Donate blood

Who can donate blood?

  • Individuals must be at least 17 years old (16 years of age in some states).
  • Donors must weigh at least 110 lb.
  • Those looking to donate blood must be in good health.
  • A list of conditions and other criteria is available here.

How often can you donate blood?

You can donate every 56 days, up to 24 times per year.

Do you need to know your blood type to donate?

No, your blood will be tested as part of the donation process at a blood donor center.

What are the blood types? What are rare blood types?

According to the American Red Cross, the eight major blood groups are:

  • A+/-: These types can donate to A and AB types.
  • B+/-: Both blood types can donate to B and AB types.
  • AB+/-: Both can donate to other ABs and can receive from all other blood types.
  • O+/-: The universal donor blood type.

Of all the blood types, AB- is the most rare. O+ is the most common blood type.

Where can you find a blood donor center?

Visit or to locate a blood donor clinic in your area. Additional information on blood donation is available at these sites, as well.

Kathy Rembisz 
Contributing Writer