National Blood Donor Month has taken place during the month of January since 1970. During this time, the generosity of volunteer donors is celebrated, and efforts are made to raise awareness of the need for blood donations. January is one of the most challenging times to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs. During the winter months, inclement weather can make it more difficult for people to get to their local collection sites. Seasonal illnesses like the flu can also prevent individuals from donating. The goal of National Blood Donor month is to increase blood and platelet collections during this critical time of the winter season.
January 2019 is certainly proving to be a challenge for the blood supply in the United States. Throughout the month several U.S. blood centers have indicated that supplies are critically low. In mid-January, the American Red Cross issued an emergency call for donations to help mitigate a blood shortage. According to the Red Cross, the preceding holiday season tends to stretch the blood supply, and then January snow storms exacerbate the problem. Another example is the Indiana Blood Center, which has recently issued a "critical statewide appeal" for donations.
When emergencies take place, it is the blood that has already been collected, processed, tested and is ready and waiting on the shelf that helps victims. Therefore, Helmer Scientific would like to express our gratitude for the generosity of all blood donors, as well as the blood center and hospital staff that collect, process, and distribute these life-saving therapies. Helmer also encourages anyone who is eligible to consider donating.