National Blood Donor Month kicks off in January

Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 6:54 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 2, 2023 at 8:09 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - January kicks off National Blood Donor Month. The American Red Cross says it needs blood donations and soon.

“Unfortunately led to many blood drives being cancelled in parts of the country we feel that here in Virginia especially as we are a national supplier,” explained Virginia Red Cross spokesperson Jonathan McNamara.

Currently, blood donations are down 20 percent. There are many reasons why including the holidays, recent winter weather, and not just here but nationwide. More people stay home sick with the flu, COVID, and RSV.

“That increase in flu cases increase in COVID cases which has a ripple effect through the population that’s going to reduce and put a strain on the number of people who are healthy enough to donate blood,” McNamara explained.

Unfortunately, the need never goes down.

“Many people having surgeries many people, unfortunately, heading to emergency rooms for a variety of different reasons and our job at the Red Cross is to make sure that we have the stocks and supplies necessary so that patients who have experienced trauma, mothers who have complications after childbirth can get the blood that they need,” he said.

As they’re looking for more people to roll up their sleeves to donate they’re reminding people first to check to see if they’re eligible to give.

“We always say to anybody is we don’t want you to come donate blood if you’re not feeling well so wait a few days until you’re back in a better place and feeling healthy,” he stated.

The Red Cross wants people to know that if you would like to donate blood but can’t there are other ways you can help you can either become a volunteer which they need to staff their blood drives or you can donate money to help fund the Red Cross efforts.

You can find all of that information on the American Red Cross website.