The Blood Center
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Blood donors needed for National Blood Donor Month

Posted by Paul Adams on January 8, 2018 10:52 AM

Make your New Year’s resolution this year one you can keep by saving up to three lives. Giving blood is fast, safe and an easy way to keep your “Red-Cell-ution”.

January is National Blood Donor Month, a tradition that began in 1970 by then President Richard Nixon to increase awareness that blood is often in short supply during the winter months.

The Blood Center is experiencing greater than normal difficulties in collecting sufficient donations to ensure we maintain the needs of area patients. Healthy individuals are needed to ensure we sustain adequate inventory levels and avert blood shortages. Current collections levels are far below average making it more challenging to consistently meet routine needs for blood and blood components throughout the region, to say nothing of the potential usage generated by any trauma situation that could arise. Healthy individuals are encouraged to donate now and bring a friend or family member with them.

Challenges began with December’s holiday activities, vacations and family travel. The New Year ushered in icy roads and arctic temperatures for South Louisiana and seasonal illnesses continue to rise throughout the region. Dr. Rebekah Gee, Louisiana Department of Health Secretary, stated “In more severe seasons, the flu causes approximately 700 deaths and nearly 8,000 hospitalizations each year. We are already on track to meet and possibly exceed these statistics for the current flu season.” Unfortunately the need for blood by area patients does not recognize the holiday or flu season and The Blood Center is seeing a steep decline in donations.

Every type is the right type, and while 60% of the population is eligible to donate blood, less than 5% actually does. To maintain a healthy and stable community blood supply, The Blood Center must collect between 300 to 350 pints of blood every day.

Fast facts:

  • 1%, that’s how many more Americans it would take to end blood shortages
  • Blood donors need to be 17 years of age (or 16 with a parental consent) and picture ID
  • The donation process takes less than an hour
  • Someone needs blood every three seconds
  • You can donate blood every 56 days

The Blood Center, a nonprofit organization led by a volunteer Board of Trustees, is the primary supplier of blood and blood components to more than 30 area hospitals and outpatient facilities throughout Southeast Louisiana and Southern Mississippi. The Blood Center operates 10 donor centers throughout the Gulf South.

All blood types are in currently in demand. Please visit to find a donor center in your area or call (800) 86-BLOOD to organize a community blood drive for your school, business, civic or religious organization.

Find The Blood Center on social media at @TheBloodCenter.