National Volunteer Blood Donor Month – January 2023

National Volunteer Blood Donor Month is observed every year in January. It is a part of the campaign by the American Red Cross to encourage blood donations. In existence for the past 50 years, the A.R.C. has continuously reminded us of the need to be a volunteer for this cause through various events like Blood Donation Day. While donating blood is a form of charity, unfortunately, there are very few charitable people who volunteer for a blood donation. So this month, be a hero and donate blood, be a hero and save a life.

History of National Volunteer Blood Donor Month

Blood transfusion is the process of transferring blood from an external source into the blood intravenously. This process started in 1628 when William Harvey discovered the process of the circulation of blood. He reached the hypothesis that blood from a donor can help someone who needs it. The first successful blood transfusion was performed by Dr. Philip Syng Physick in 1795. Since then, as advancements were made in medical science, the techniques of blood transfusion have evolved.

With the blood transfusion technique now possible, the entire 19th century was more or less spent on making more investigative analyses instead of actually using this process to save lives.

It was not until 1914 when World War I broke out that there was a massive need for volunteers to donate blood to save injured soldiers. The same situation occurred during the Second World War, but during this time, the world was slightly prepared as organizations such as the Red Cross played a very important role in saving lives and treating the injured soldiers in war-hit areas.

In the U.S., the American Red Cross society was formed in 1881 and worked in various parts of the country. During World War II, the American Red Cross expanded its operations and service areas to different parts of the world. With this, they started the National Volunteer Blood Donation Month campaign in 1971 to first build awareness about the need to donate blood to save lives. Later, the focus shifted from building awareness to spreading the information on how donating blood is beneficial for both the donor and receiver. Sometime in the 1990s, the focus shifted again to raising awareness on why blood donation is essential because the number of volunteers dropped.

Recently, a study has revealed that around 38,000 blood donations are needed every day. This means that there are around the same number of people suffering from blood or blood-related diseases or conditions every day, and that there are very few volunteers for this noble service. The A.R.C. reminds us of how noble and crucial blood donation is, and how it can help save lives.

National Volunteer Blood Donor Month timeline

1881
Founding the American Red Cross

This organization is founded and provides emergency assistance and relief in the U.S.

1971
Inaugural Celebrations

For the first time, National Volunteer Blood Donor Month is celebrated by the American Red Cross.

1999
Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT)

The American Red Cross becomes the first organization to test the blood for HIV and Hepatitis in donated blood.

2021
Golden Jubilee

This year celebrates the 50th anniversary of National Volunteer Blood Donor Month.

National Volunteer Blood Donor Month FAQs

Why is January National Blood Donor Month?

Blood donations usually slow during and after the winter holidays, which makes National Blood Donor Month in January a vital time for the American Red Cross. Busy schedules, breaks from school, bad weather, and winter sickness bring about fewer blood and platelet donations.

How often can you donate blood?

Blood donors can donate blood every eight weeks. Blood donors are 88% less likely to have a heart attack.

How frequently does the US need blood?

Someone requires blood every few seconds in the United States. And more than 4.5 million Americans would die every year without lifesaving blood transfusions. So constant donations are needed.

How to Observe National Volunteer Blood Donor Month

  1. Donate blood voluntarily

    Visit the nearest blood donation center or hospital and donate blood voluntarily for a stranger. You never know, your donation may help save a life.

  2. Organize a blood donation drive

    You can invite a delegation from the A.R.C. and set up a blood donation camp. Encourage people to donate blood that can later be used when the need arises.

  3. Arrange awareness sessions on its importance

    You can always do an awareness session to talk about the importance of blood donation and how that donated blood is used. Also, debunk the myths associated with blood donation so that those who are scared can gain the courage to donate blood.

5 Facts About National Volunteer Blood Donor Month Everyone Should Know.

  1. One donation, three lives

    Just one donation of blood can save the lives of three people.

  2. 10% of the total person’s weight

    The weight of the blood in a normal person’s body is about one 10th of the total weight of the person.

  3. Eight blood groups

    There are eight blood groups in human beings — positives and negatives of A, B, O, and AB.

  4. O- is the rarest blood group

    Not only O- is the rarest blood group type, it is also the most useful among the other types as people with the O- blood type are universal donors.

  5. Many blood donations are needed every day

    43,000 pints of donated blood are used each day in the U.S. and Canada.

Why National Volunteer Blood Donor Month is Important

  1. It unites us

    A voluntary blood donation means that a person is aware of the importance of human life. This is a basic expression of caring for humanity. If done in a group, it develops a bond of unity in us.

  2. Someone out there needs our blood to live

    Trust us when we say this: there are children, people of every age, race, and color who are suffering from various diseases, or life-threatening blood loss. Your donation will save lives.

  3. Spread the message

    This month is a perfect time to spread awareness on the need to donate blood, clear out myths related to blood donation. Gather the support of as many people as possible to register blood donors for a cause, save lives!

National Volunteer Blood Donor Month dates

YearDateDay
2022January 1Saturday
2023January 1Sunday
2024January 1Monday
2025January 1Wednesday
2026January 1Thursday
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