Donating Blood is a Lifesaving HabitFrom the Desk of Dr. Antonucci
Jan. 25, 2023
January is National Blood Donor Month – a time to celebrate and recognize regular blood donors and encourage others to join the lifesaving cause. The recognition month was established on Dec. 31, 1969, when President Richard Nixon proclaimed January 1970 as the first National Blood Donor Month. In part, his proclamation said, “Genuine concern for his fellowman has always distinguished the American citizen. That concern finds daily expression in countless acts of voluntary service to the less fortunate, the sick, and the injured. No manifestation of this generosity of spirit is more expressive, and no gift more priceless in time of personal crisis, than the donation of one’s blood. The voluntary blood donor truly gives life itself.”
Blood donation helps save lives because there is no substitute – no manufactured substance – that can heal the way blood does. Whole blood donations are processed into blood components, like plasma and red blood cells, which can be used to help treat cancer, anemia and leukemia or can be used to help people undergoing surgery for illness or injury.
Lee Health uses approximately 800 units of blood each week to care for adult and pediatric patients within our health system. Blood has a relatively short shelf life, so we need to replenish it often, which we do through our Blood Centers and blood drives that are held throughout our community. We just recently added a new, state-of-the-art blood mobile to our fleet, so we now have three blood mobiles that travel to high schools, churches, retirement facilities and other locations throughout Lee County to help ensure our blood supply remains at a healthy level.
All blood donations collected by Lee Health stay within our health system to treat our patients.
Donating blood is safe and easy. Before donating blood, the technician checks your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature and hemoglobin. Upon successful donation, you will also receive your cholesterol level and blood type. Donating blood allows your body to replenish its supply and helps the body function more efficiently. Most people can donate every 56 days.
The entire process takes about 45 minutes, including the mini-physical and simple medical history questionnaire, but the actual donation takes less than 15 minutes.
If you are interested in starting a new healthy habit, consider donating blood. A list of local blood drives can be found on our website, www.LeeHealth.org – just enter ‘blood drives’ in the search bar. You can also stop by one of our four Blood Centers Monday through Friday to donate. For more information, including donor requirements, Blood Center locations, hours of operation and more, visit www.LeeHealth.org/our-services/blood-centers/blood-donations. You can also check out a short video (www.vimeo.com/787723979) for a sneak peek of the new blood mobile and for inspiration on why you should consider donating blood.