Michigan residents encouraged to give gift of life during National Blood Donor Month
By: Michigan Blood, part of Versiti
January is National Blood Donor Month, created in 1970 to honor volunteers who give blood and encourage others to do the same. The designation is a critical way that Michiganders across the state can help others by donating life-saving blood to Michigan Blood (https://donate.miblood.org/
Each year, more than 114,000 units of blood are donated at eight donation centers and many community blood drives throughout the state. In fact, 565 pints of blood are needed each day to meet demand. Each pint can help save up to three lives. Yet nationwide, of all eligible people who can donate blood, only 3 percent do.
Now is an important time to give blood, said Dawn Kaiser, site lead for Michigan Blood. "During the winter months, we often see a decline in donations, mainly due to bad weather, seasonal illnesses and even holiday travel, which all keep even our most loyal donors from giving," she said. "But the need for life-saving blood doesn't decline. In fact, the need often rises."
O-negative blood is especially needed now. O-negative donors are universal blood donors, meaning their red blood cells can be transfused to patients with any blood type. The blood type is found in hospital emergency rooms for situations when there is no time to determine a patient's blood type.
Donating blood takes about an hour. Anyone age 17 or older in good health who meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to give. Parental consent is required for donors age 16 to give. Donors should bring a photo ID that includes their birth date.
Appointments are encouraged but walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 1-866-MIBLOOD (642-5663) or visit http://www.versiti.org/
Michigan Blood has collected blood throughout the state since 1955. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, the non-profit organization provides blood products and services to 69 Michigan hospitals. Michigan Blood collects more than 114,000 units of blood each year at eight donation centers and through the operation of more than 3,400 community blood drives throughout the state.