Donate Blood and Help Save Lives

January is National Blood Donor Month, a time when we honor the generosity of America’s blood donors and remind people of the importance of donating blood regularly for those who are able to do so. The winter months also cause a reduction in donations due to the increase in COVID-19, flu and RSV illnesses. Additionally, winter weather can make it difficult for blood donors to schedule and keep donation appointments.

“Gives Equals Living Quote: I absolutely wouldn't be here if it weren't for the kindness of blood donors.  “I am very grateful to everyone who donates.”  - Heather

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood for surgeries, cancer treatments, childbirth, anemia, serious injuries, blood disorders and more.

To help ensure we all have blood when we need it, I helped launch the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Give = Live campaign. Through heartwarming personal stories, the campaign highlights people who share how blood donations blood saved their lives during military service, accidents, medical emergencies and chronic illnesses.

The theme for this year’s National Blood Donor Month is Celebrate Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in Blood Donation. The issue emphasizes that while all Americans are encouraged to donate blood, it is especially important for people of diverse backgrounds to do so. This helps ensure that people who have rare blood types have compatible blood available when they need it.

And this year is the first National Blood Donor Month since the FDA released its Final Guidance on blood and plasma donations last year, when they replaced the three-month deferral for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men with An individual. Risk assessment in which all blood donors are asked the same questions, regardless of their identity. I believe this improves the accuracy of risk assessment for all blood donors because all donors will be asked the same questions. I applaud the FDA for using the best scientific evidence currently available to update eligibility policies while continuing to maintain a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood products in the United States. I also hope that this new guidance encourages those who have not been able to donate previously to consider doing so under the new guidelines.

The most important thing to remember when considering donating blood is that doing so can save a life. Watch Earl’s story to learn how donating blood helped save his life when he was seriously injured by a roadside bomb while serving in the military. Thanks to blood donors, he is still here living a life of purpose.

Donors, especially those who donate regularly, keep our nation’s blood supply stable. Although many people donate blood after a disaster, patients need blood year-round. Shortages in the country’s blood supply can occur at any time. If you are eligible to donate blood, I recommend that you schedule an appointment to donate today. Donating blood just once can help save more than one life. It’s even more impactful if you can donate regularly!

I hope you will join me in spreading the message about the importance of donating blood. Visit the Giving = Living website to find a donation center near you, learn about the blood donation process, and get answers to common questions and concerns. You can also help us find more blood donor heroes. Use our campaign materials to help us spread the word.

I appreciate your help. It is my pleasure to personally thank donors and sponsors. Your efforts make a difference for millions of Americans. I deeply appreciate your efforts to make everyone in your community healthier.

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