Celebrating National Blood Donor Day
By Community Blood Center of the Ozarks
Find Community Blood Center of the Ozarks on Facebook. The following blog is written and provided by Community Blood Center of the Ozarks for Springfield-Greene County Health’s Healthy Ozarks blog.
If you’re on social media, you’ve probably discovered a few new holidays over the past few years.
While traditional celebrations like St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day and Thanksgiving come pre-printed on calendars everywhere, the almighty algorithms always find a way to remind us of lesser-known holidays. There’s National Leave the Office Early Day (June 2), Just Because Day (August 27) and Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day (December 8) — and dozens of others to observe every month.
One of them involves saving lives — a cause much too important for one single day.
National Blood Donor Month has been observed every January since 1970, and whether you’re a routine blood donor, give occasionally or have never donated — there really is no better time to give blood. Here are nine reasons why you should visit a Community Blood Center of the Ozarks blood drive or donor center this month — starting with one that just might surprise you!
1. It’s the only blood bank that supplies our local hospitals
That’s right! Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is the only organization that supplies blood, plasma and platelets to 44 hospitals throughout southwest Missouri, northwest Arkansas and southeast Kansas. You might see other organizations holding blood drives in the Ozarks, but any donation made at those drives will not go to a local hospital. Giving to CBCO helps preserve, enhance and save lives of neighbors, friends and loved ones right here in the Ozarks.
2. A local patient needs a blood transfusion every seven minutes
People need blood for a variety of reasons — trauma, cancer, chronic illnesses and pregnancy complications, to name a few — and many of them will require more than one transfusion. A car accident victim could require as many as 50 transfusions, while an organ transplant recipient may need up to 95 total transfusions. It takes about 200 donations a day to meet the needs of our local hospitals.
3. There’s no substitute for human blood
Blood is an essential medicine for our hospital patients — and cannot be manufactured. That means that the people who rely on blood transfusions are really relying on generous blood donors, just like you!
4. It’s the blood on the shelves that will save someone’s life
It’s impossible to predict when emergency situations will arise, or exactly how much blood a patient might require. And since blood products are perishable, with platelets expiring just five days after they are donated, regular blood donation is critical for ensuring local hospitals always have blood available whenever it is needed. Type O Negative blood is especially sought-after because it can be given to any patient, but everyone is someone’s type. Each donation helps maintain a healthy and safe blood supply!
5. Most donations take less than an hour
There are a few different ways to help local patients, but the most common type of donation is known as a whole blood donation. It generally takes less than 60 minutes to donate whole blood, with most of that time spent doing the pre-donation health screening and post-donation refreshment time in the canteen. Most whole blood donors only spend about 10 minutes physically giving blood. This small amount of time can bring a lifetime of positive impacts for people and families throughout the Ozarks.
6. One whole blood donation can help up to three people
Whole blood contains red and white blood cells, platelets and plasma, each of which play a specific role in a person’s health. But blood recipients rarely need all of those at the same time. Using state-of-the-art machinery, CBCO separates whole blood donations into smaller components. Your red blood cells might help a cancer patient in Greene County, while your plasma might help someone battling liver disease in northwest Arkansas. Every donation has the power to help multiple people in need.
7. You don’t need to know your blood type to donate
We talked about the unique importance of universal O Negative donors, but all blood types are always in demand. Even if you don’t know your type, you can still donate! In fact, giving is a great way to learn your blood type, as it’ll be posted in your online donor portal within a few days of your donation.
8. Blood donations are needed now more than ever
The winter is a particularly challenging time for blood donations, with the holidays and bad weather often hampering turnout. But the need for blood doesn’t take a holiday — or a snow day. There are 744 hours in January. If you can spare just one of them, you can give the gift of life to local people in need.
9. You get a free gift for donating
CBCO has dozens of fun promotions planned for donors all year long, but January’s is particularly awesome! Donate blood, plasma or platelets by January 31, 2023, and receive a free hoodie, while supplies last. Donors also have a chance to win VISA gift cards by signing up for the 56-Day Challenge and making subsequent donations throughout the year. Learn more by visiting www.cbco.org/56day.
Inspired to help patients in your community? CBCO’s donor center at 220 W. Plainview Road in Springfield is open seven days a week (8–6 weekdays, 7–1 Saturdays, 9–3 Sundays) and there are many other mobile drives planned throughout the Ozarks. Find a place to donate near you at www.cbco.org.