Blood Donation Drives Highlight February

Valentine’s Day gets people thinking about matters of the heart. What’s a better show of love than a selfless donation of blood or plasma?

The start of 2018 has seen a wave of seasonal illnesses affect the number of available donors. Couple that with crises late last year--the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas and hurricanes in Florida, Houston and Puerto Rico--and blood banks are in desperate need of help.

“The blood that’s already on hospital shelves saves lives, especially during national emergencies,” said Alex Sigua of BloodSource. “Blood supply is only available through the generosity of donors that gave blood in the days and weeks prior to the emergencies.”

Then there are the everyday instances that require blood transfusions, like car accidents and cancer treatments.

“Your blood donation can save up to three lives,” Sigua said. "Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood."

Donations are crucially important this time of year, as regular donors suffering from the cold and flu may not be healthy enough to donate.

Even if you’re squeamish around needles you can still make a financial contribution to help a blood bank serve those in need.

Click this link to book an appointment at a local blood bank (

Here are some facts and statistics about blood drives and donations, according to the American Red Cross:

  • Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood.
  • Blood banks store blood for six weeks before disposing.
  • A car accident victim may require as many as 100 pints of blood.
  • Every day, approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed in the United States.
  • Nearly 21 million blood components are transfused each year in the United States.
  • The average red blood cell transfusion is about three pints.
  • Type O blood is most requested by hospitals.
  • The blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event occurs.