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Holiday Hugs Day – February 1, 2023

Holiday Hugs Day is celebrated every year on February 1 and it’s a day on which Atlanta Blood Services thanks all of the donors who participated in blood donation campaigns during the busy holiday season, on Christmas and New Year. These donors are usually people who have kept the habit of donating their platelets on a four-month streak the year before and continue to donate routinely to the blood bank. Platelets are cells within the human blood that help the body fight infections and diseases and are one of the main operators of the immune system.

History of Holiday Hugs Day

Blood is one of the most important body fluids we have. It’s the fluid that helps transport oxygen to all the cells in the body and allows the circulatory system to work smoothly. While the heart pumps it so it reaches all corners of the body, the lungs make sure that the cells get oxygen and leave behind carbon dioxide, which is the toxic product of the chemical exchange that distributes the oxygen to the body. The arteries are where the oxygen-full blood runs, that’s why arterial blood is typically brighter, whereas the veins carry the blood full of carbon dioxide, making venous blood darker. This is usually the blood you see taken out for blood testing.

Not only does the blood help transport oxygen, but it also carries cells that are important for our health. These are part of our immune system, which helps keep our bodies healthy and heals infections and scars naturally. The blood also carries many nutrients and hormones, and also helps keep our body temperature in check. It is made up of plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

The main component of blood needed by patients in need of blood treatments for blood cancer or bone marrow transplants is the platelets, which are cell fragments that react to bleeding by clumping together to form a clot, which stops the bleeding. Patients with Leukemia, for example, have a very low count of platelets, which puts them in danger of not being able to heal inflammations or infections, lowering their immunity levels even more. That’s why blood donation is so important for these people. They get to replace a good amount of that count they lost through treatment.

Holiday Hugs Day timeline

1628
Description of Circulation

Physician William Harvey first describes how blood circulates through the body.

1901
The Discovery of Blood Types

Biologist Karl Landsteiner discovers the A.B.O. system we know today.

1907
The First Transfusion

Compatibility between blood types is tested through the first blood transfusion.

2021
The First Holiday Hugs Day

Atlanta Blood Services creates and promotes the very first Holiday Hugs Day.

Holiday Hugs Day FAQs

Is donating blood good for you?

Studies have shown that donating blood can reduce risk factors related to high blood pressure and other heart-related abnormalities.

Who cannot donate blood?

If you’re sick with a cold or have an infection of any sort. Also, if you’ve gotten a tattoo or piercing within the last six months. People who take prescribed medication are also not advised to donate blood.

How long does it take to recover from giving blood?

It takes two days for the body to replace the volume you donated. However, the red cells can take from one to two months to be completely replaced.

How to Observe Holiday Hugs Day

  1. Donate blood

    Contribute to your local hospital’s blood bank by donating blood yourself! Make sure you call first to find out if you’re an optimal donor.

  2. Thank a medical professional

    Medical and healthcare professionals are always keeping us healthy and taking good care of our needs. On this special day, don’t forget to thank them for that!

  3. Invite your friends to donate blood

    Get your friends to accompany you on your blood donation journey! Make it a fun day!

5 Cool Facts About Blood

  1. Some blood isn’t red

    Did you know that some species, such as spiders and octopuses, have different colored blood?

  2. Catching sunlight is good for your blood

    Being exposed to ultraviolet rays can help reduce blood pressure.

  3. Donating blood doesn’t take long

    It takes about an hour to donate enough blood to blood banks.

  4. We’ve got a lot of blood

    In your body right now, there are about five liters of blood running through.

  5. Plasma’s got purpose

    Your plasma can be used in 18 different types of treatments!

Why Holiday Hugs Day is Important

  1. It’s all about health

    Staying healthy and taking care of ourselves is very important and being able to share healthcare with everyone else is just as great! We love this!

  2. It reminds us to donate blood

    It’s not often that we talk about donating blood, so it’s easy to forget about it. This day keeps the memory alive!

  3. It raises awareness

    Hospital blood banks are always in need of more blood. Holiday Hugs Day is a great way to bring more people in for donations!

Holiday Hugs Day dates

YearDateDay
2023February 1Wednesday
2024February 1Thursday
2025February 1Saturday
2026February 1Sunday
2027February 1Monday
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