National Blood Donor Month: Give a Pint Get a Pound

I am always amazed by the blood donation system.  In high school, I worked at a blood bank and witnessed this system in full force.  From the donation center to the research labs where scientists use expired blood donations for their studies, the donation process was fascinating.  I have now come full circle to working in the ER where we routinely order blood, typically for patients with GI bleeding and the occasional trauma victim.  It truly is lifesaving.  

What I didn't know about blood donation is that the national blood supply is traditionally low in January. Recovering from the busy Holiday season, deterred by snow and ice, donors are hesitant to give blood during the winter months.  So, January has been named National Blood Donor Month to raise awareness of this problem and encourage donations.  

Need a reason to brave the chilly weather and get out of the house to donate blood?  To celebrate National Blood Donor Month, Dunkin' Donuts is running a 'Give a Pint Get a Pound' campaign.  The confectioner plans to give away over 125,000 pounds of coffee to donors who visit a local American Red Cross to give blood.  Who couldn't use a free pound of coffee, right?

So, unless you are my mother who passes out every time she tries to donate, get out and give blood this month.  17 percent of non-donors cite they "just never thought about it" as the main reason for not giving blood so encourage your patients to donate as well.  By donating just one pint of blood, you could save three lives helping some of the 4.5 million Americans requiring a blood transfusion each year. 

Blood donation is an easy way to have a positive impact on another's life...and a good way to get free pound of coffee so get out and donate this month.