You can roll up your sleeves and not have to sweat — well ,maybe not much — to help plenty of others.

January is National Blood Donor Month, and as seasonal illnesses rise during winter months, so too does the need for blood and platelets. 

From accident victims to cancer patients to those with sickle cell anemia to burn patients and to those with chronic diseases, there is a constant need for blood. Every two seconds, someone, somewhere in the U.S., is in need of blood.

Each day, nearly 36,000 units of red blood cells and 7,000 units of platelets are needed. Up to 100 pints of blood may be needed for a single car accident victim. 

But one donation can be used to help more than one person. You can give whole blood, plasma or platelets, or even a power red donation, a concentration of red blood cells. Each donation can be used to help save three lives. 

The most requested type is type O, because O negative can be used in a transfusion for any blood type. 

If you’ve given blood before and continue to do so, we congratulate you and hope you continue to be a life saver. If you’re thinking about being a blood donor, you’ll need a driver’s license or two other forms of identification at a blood drive check-in. If you’re 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health, you may be eligible to donate blood. 

A donation of blood is truly a gift of life for someone else. During National Blood Donor Month, we hope more people are willing to roll up their sleeves.

Recommended for you