As we commemorate Blood Donor Month, Steward hospitals across the country continue to hold blood drives to address the nationwide blood shortage. Blood donation is a life-saving act that plays a pivotal role in health care. Every drop donated has the power to make a profound impact on someone’s life for medical treatment, surgery, or an emergency.
According to the American Red Cross, someone in the U.S. needs blood or platelets every two seconds, and every day, hospitals around the country use nearly 29,000 units of red blood cells to care for patients.
Simply put, the demand for blood in the U.S. is extraordinary — and the winter months create unique challenges because cold and flu season often decreases turnout at blood drives, and inclement weather can cancel them altogether. As a result, we often face blood shortages in the winter, a reality that led President Richard Nixon to declare January as National Blood Donor Month over 50 years ago.
While the need for blood donations is always particularly acute this time of year, it is now exceptionally important since the Red Cross declared a national blood shortage. With more people working from home and attending classes virtually, the frequency of blood drives based at corporate offices and schools has dipped, leaving behind a major source of donated blood.
In response, Steward hospitals are working tirelessly to address the shortage, hosting blood drives in locations across the country.
“The impact of blood donations is both immediate and immense,” said Michelle Palmer, MHA, a laboratory manager at Tempe St. Luke’s. Donations can be used to aid trauma patients, patients undergoing surgery, cancer patients, and many more. “The impact is that you’re saving a life. You’re a blood hero,” she said.
As winter begins to give way to spring, this life-saving work will continue, and you can be part of it. If you’re interested and able to give blood, get in touch with your nearest Steward hospital to find out more about their upcoming blood drives, or check the American Red Cross website for a drive in your community. Your contribution will help make a significant difference in someone’s life.
To find a doctor or schedule an appointment, visit Steward DoctorFinder™.