Our View: Resolve to donate blood this month

Monday, the American Red Cross issued an emergency call for blood and platelet donors.

According to a release from the charity, “With holiday scheduling keeping donors busy, the Red Cross collected about 27,000 fewer blood and platelet donations during the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s than needed.”

Right now, the Red Cross is urging people across the country, especially type O, to schedule an appointment to give.

The call comes at a fitting time, with January being National Blood Donor Month.

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.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. will need donated blood.

About 1 in 7 people who enter a hospital will use donated blood. Even though red blood cells can be stored for 42 days, blood for hospitals is always in short supply.

“A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood. A premature newborn baby can need up to four pints of bloodwhile in intensive care and coronary bypass surgery can use up to five pints,” according to the Kentucky Blood Center.

Blood is in constant demand and often in short supply.

Since blood cannot be made artificially, the only way to have enough blood to save lives is through donations.

Blood donations are provided in life-saving procedure every day — people just like us, our neighbors, our coworkers and our loved ones.

Every pint of blood — which can be split into platelets, plasma and red blood cells — will save three lives.

Each January, the American Red Cross promotes and recognizes the lifesaving contribution of blood donation with National BloodDonor Month.

Donating blood is a simple process that takes about an hour from start to the time you receive your complimentary cookie as you leave.

The actual process of giving blood sometimes takes as little as 12 minutes.

Almost anyone can donate. If you are in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds, have a photo ID and are at least 17 years old, you could be a blood donor. If you’re 16 years old, you can donate with a signed parent permission slip.

According to American Blood Centers, less than 10 percent of the population eligible to donate blood does.

Donations made through the KBC are supplied to nearly 70 hospitals around the commonwealth, including Clark Regional Medical Center.

Donations can be made at one of several donation centers in Kentucky or at blood drives hosted at schools, businesses and churches.

Find out more about KBC, scheduling blood donation or organizing a blood drive by visiting kybloodcenter.org.

Roll up your sleeve and make a lifesaving donation this month and throughout the year.