January is National Blood Donor Month, but there is never a bad time to be a blood donor and help save lives. Extreme winter weather in some parts of the country and seasonal illnesses often make it difficult for blood banks to maintain sufficient blood supplies during this time of year, so the American Red Cross urges healthy people to give now and encourage others to do the same. Without more donors, patients will not have the blood they need.
Eligible donors with types O, B negative or A negative blood are encouraged to make a Power Red donation, where this is being offered. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation. During this type of donation, red blood cells are separated from other blood components, and the plasma and platelets are safely and comfortably returned to the donor.
Know Your Blood Type
Type O-negative is the universal blood type and what emergency personnel reach for in trauma situations when there isn’t time to determine a patient’s blood type.
Type O-positive is the most transfused blood type and can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type.
Types A-negative and B-negative can be transfused to Rh-positive or Rh-negative patients.