January is blood donor month and hospitals need it

Blood donation is relatively easy and painless.
Blood donation is relatively easy and painless.(Cleveland Clinic)
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 4:55 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - January is national blood donor month - highlighting the need for blood donations year-round.

Doctor Thomas Waters with Cleveland Clinic explained how if you have never donated blood before, it’s worth considering ashospitals are always looking to increase their supply. “Blood that is donated can be used for surgical patients who are undergoing surgery, for trauma patients who’ve had a significant injury, or patients with other medical conditions that might require a transfusion.”

According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood or platelets. The most common type of blood requested by hospitals is type O.

For those who have never donated, the blood donation process is relatively simple.

First, you’ll complete a donor registration, then go over your health history and do a mini physical examination.

From there, a medical professional will hook you up for the blood draw, which typically takes between eight to ten minutes. If you’re donating platelets, red cells, or plasma it can take up to two hours.

Doctor Waters has some advice for those who may be nervous to donate. “There are a lot of people out there who are afraid of needles, so understandable - it can be a scary event to undertake. It is safe, it’s very simple, it’s relatively painless, you’ll feel a little pinch. It only takes a few minutes, and again it can be life-saving for someone who needs a transfusion.”

To find more information or a blood drive near you, you can call your local hospital or visit the Red Cross website.