National Blood Donor Month is observed in January every year. The observance started more than 50 years ago, on December 31st, 1969, after the president signed a proclamation designating January as Blood Donor Month. The month of January is significant because it is usually a period of critical blood shortages. In addition, people stop donating during the holiday months, and while people are more prone to get sick during flu season and blood drives get snowed out.
There are many different places you can donate blood in the Rockford area, such as; Rock River Valley Blood Center and the American Red Cross of Northwest Illinois. Both offer blood drives around Rockford at churches and hospitals.
National Blood Awareness Month has been recognized since 1970. According to Health Prep, there are benefits of donating blood.
Benefits of donating:
- Free blood tests – contributed blood is tested, and the donor can ask to be informed if any irregularities are found.
- Calorie burn – The blood donation process burns 650 calories, comparable to an average spin class!
- Reduced risk of heart disease – helps eliminate the excess buildup of iron in the blood
- Reduced risk of cancer – also due to the reduction of excess iron buildup in the blood
Why donating blood is important:
- Donating blood save lives – Someone needs blood every few seconds in the United States. And more than 4.5 million Americans would die every year without lifesaving blood transfusions. National Blood Donor Month helps us remember these vital statistics.
- It’s the gift that keeps on giving – The American Red Cross needs 13,000 blood donations every single day to maintain an appropriate blood supply. Fortunately, eligible blood donors can donate blood every eight weeks.
- It’s good for donors, too – The American Journal of Epidemiology reports that blood donors are 88 percent less likely to have a heart attack.