January is National Blood Donor Month

Highlighting the contributions of lifesaving blood donors and inspiring the community to take action

Did you know that every two seconds in America, someone urgently needs blood?

National Blood Donor Month logo

This need extends beyond unexpected emergencies like car crashes, encompassing a wide range of medical treatments such as cancer therapies, cardiovascular and orthopedic surgeries, and organ and bone marrow transplants. 

Hoxworth Blood Center, University of Cincinnati, is the oldest operating blood center in the nation, and the sole supplier of blood products to all greater Cincinnati hospitals and health systems. 

“Donating blood is an easy and impactful way to come together and be part of our community,” says David Oh, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Hoxworth Blood Center. “When you donate blood or platelets with Hoxworth, you know that it will be used for a child going through cancer treatments at Cincinnati Children’s, a local mother experiencing child birth, a neighbor who needs surgery, and more. You are saving lives close to home.”  

Quote graphic: Only three percent of eligible Americans donate blood each year

Only three percent of eligible Americans currently donate blood, despite 65% of the population being eligible to do so. Additionally, less than 20% of blood donations come from individuals in communities of color, and donations from individuals aged 19-24 have declined by nearly 32% from 2019 to 2021. This drop is largely attributed to the restrictions imposed on blood drives at school campuses during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Blood transfusions are one of the most common medical procedures performed in hospitals,” says Oh. “If just one percent more Americans donated blood, shortages could be eliminated.”

Quote: on average, pediatric patients use 1800 units of blood daily

Given the current state of blood donations, there is an urgent need for younger, more diverse donors. National Blood Donor Month, celebrated every January, provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of blood donation and to honor those who have already made a life-saving contribution.

National blood donor month logo

The inaugural National Blood Donor Month was proclaimed by President Richard Nixon and held in January 1970, with the aim of acknowledging voluntary blood donors and encouraging more individuals to donate for the first time. Despite the changes that have occurred in the last five decades, the demand for blood remains constant, as does the selflessness of those who answer the call to give. 

"We express our heartfelt gratitude to all those who regularly donate blood and encourage all those eligible to join them,” explains Oh. “Such ongoing generosity not only saves lives today but also extends hope for a brighter tomorrow for countless individuals in need in our greater Cincinnati community.”

About Hoxworth:
Hoxworth Blood Center, University of Cincinnati, was founded in 1938 and serves more than 30 hospitals in 18 counties in Southwestern Ohio, Northern Kentucky, and Southeastern Indiana. Annually, Hoxworth collects more than 100,000 units of blood from local donors to help save the lives of patients in area hospitals. Hoxworth Blood Center: Saving Lives Close to Home. 

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