The Friday Five – Blood Donor Month
January is National Blood Donor Month – one of the most challenging times of year to collect enough blood and platelet donations to meet patient needs. Recently, the American Red Cross issued an urgent call for blood and platelet donors of all blood types to give now to help address a winter blood donation shortage. Platelet and type O negative and B negative blood donations – in particular – are critically needed right now. We’ve dedicated this week’s Friday Five to rallying our readers to roll up their sleeves, give blood, and maybe even save a life or two.
American Red Cross Rapid Pass makes Donating Easy
These days most of us feel like there is no room in our busy lives to fit even one more thing. Companies and organizations are constantly coming up with new ways to make things run more smoothly for their customers and clients and the American Red Cross (@RedCross) is no different. Recently the American Red Cross issued an urgent request for donations as they are down due to busy holiday schedules, bad weather and seasonal illness. To make the process easier, donors are encouraged to take advantage of the Rapid Pass option which allows donors to fill in paperwork prior to their appointment in order to speed the process once they check in.
The Creepy Source of the Blood in the First Blood Bank
Time magazine takes us back to the earliest days of blood donation and gives all the details, sometimes event the gory ones, of how it all started. If giving back to the community more was one of your New Year’s resolutions, then good news: January is when the Red Cross and other organizations mark National Blood Donor Month in the U.S. But while giving blood can seem like a relatively straightforward way to do something to help others, the earliest incarnations of blood donations and blood banks were anything but simple. In fact, it all started with a Soviet experiment on cadavers in the early ’30s.
Holly Butcher’s Letter
This past week a letter written by Holly Butcher, a 27 year old woman battling Ewing’s sarcoma, went viral. Butcher requested that her letter be posted on her Facebook account once she was gone. The letter is full of life advice and insights gleaned from her short time on earth. At the end of the letter she mentions how important donating blood is and the good it does for so many.
“Oh and one last thing, if you can, do a good deed for humanity (and myself) and start regularly donating blood. It will make you feel good with the added bonus of saving lives,” she wrote. “I feel like it is something that is so overlooked considering every donation can save 3 lives! That is a massive impact each person can have and the process really is so simple.”
She added, “Blood donation (more bags than I could keep up with counting) helped keep me alive for an extra year – a year I will be forever grateful that I got to spend it here on Earth with my family, friends and dog. A year I had some of the greatest times of my life.”
Give Blood. Give Hope.
Why is it important to donate blood? There are a plethora of answers to the question. Everyone from accident victims, to patients undergoing surgery, to cancer patients and premature babies benefit from donated blood. Memorial Blood Centers (@MemorialBldCtrs) breaks down what happens to your donation from the time it is collected to the moment it is used with a patient in need.
OneBlood (@my1blood) is an innovative forward-thinking blood center that provides safe blood products. To help spread the word about the important role blood donations hold in the community, the organization encourages donors and recipients alike to share their stories. Sharing diverse, remarkable, inspiring real-life stories is what the I am OneBlood movement is all about. The OneBlood website houses a collection of these stories and offers others a place to share theirs. In addition, the OneBlood production of Lifeline: The Untold Story of Saving the Pulse Survivors is now available on Amazon Prime Video. In an emotional reunion, Lifeline brings Pulse survivors face-to-face with the actual blood donors who helped save their lives. The story provides an eye-opening view of the vital role blood donors played the night of the Pulse tragedy and the vital role they play every day around the world.