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South Williamsport, PA
United States

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Save Lives – Donate Blood

According to the American Red Cross, National Blood Donor Month, which has taken place each January since 1970, is such an important observance. Winter is “one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs.” Busy schedules, bad weather, getting dark early, and COVID concerns are all keeping

According to the American Red Cross, National Blood Donor Month, which has taken place each January since 1970, is such an important observance. Winter is “one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs.” Busy schedules, bad weather, getting dark early, and COVID concerns are all keeping people away from blood drives.

Donating blood saves many lives and improves health for many people. According to the World Health Organization, “blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person — the gift of life. A decision to donate your blood can save a life, or even several if your blood is separated into its components — red cells, platelets and plasma.”

Per a joint release from the American Red Cross, the Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies (AABB), and the America’s Blood Centers, “As the blood community celebrates National Blood Donor Month this January, the nation’s blood supply remains at one of its lowest levels in recent years. In recent weeks, blood centers across the country have reported less than a one-day’s supply of blood of certain critical blood types — a dangerously low level. If the nation’s blood supply does not stabilize soon, life-saving blood may not be available for some patients when it is needed.

“Today, the country confronts new challenges as COVID-19 cases surge and winter storms threaten to further disrupt the blood supply. As these concerns compound, blood centers nationwide continue to face a decline in donor turnout, blood drive cancellations, staffing challenges and donor eligibility misinformation. Yet the need for blood remains constant.

“Blood components have a short shelf life and the blood supply needs to be constantly replenished. Blood can take up to three days to be tested, processed and made available for patients, so it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency. In the U.S., more than 16 million units of blood and blood products are transfused annually with more than 45,000 units needed daily.

“Blood donations are needed now to avert the need to postpone potential lifesaving treatments. Some hospitals have already been forced to alter treatment for some patients or cancel some patient surgeries due to blood supply challenges.

“AABB, America’s Blood Centers and the American Red Cross are joining together to urge eligible, healthy individuals to contact their local blood center and make an appointment to donate blood today. We also ask local businesses to encourage their employees, including those working remotely, to find their local blood donation center and schedule an appointment to donate throughout 2022. Doing so is essential to maintaining the stability of the nation’s blood supply, which ensures life-saving medical treatments are available for patients.”

Donating blood is an easy and effective way to save lives. It doesn’t take but about an hour and you get cookies and juice (and sometimes pizza!) when you’re done.

Here are some upcoming blood drives in our area, so please, if you are eligible, consider donating during National Blood Donor Month!
– Tuesday & Wednesday January 18th & 19th: Bush Campus Center at Penn College, noon-6:00 p.m.
– Tuesday, January 25th: First United Methodist Church, Muncy, 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
– Friday, January 28th: UPMC Divine Providence, Williamsport, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

You can always find upcoming blood drives, make appointments, and fill out your questionnaire early at redcrossblood.org, or download the Red Cross ‘Blood Donor’ app.