Donors Encouraged to Give for National Blood Donor Month Jan. 1, 2009

January is National Blood Donor Month

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months due to the holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather and illness. January, in particular, is a difficult month for blood centers to collect blood donations. A reduction in turnout can put Kentucky’s blood inventory at a critical low.

 To help prevent shortages in January, Kentucky Blood Center and other members of America’s Blood Centers and AABB are celebrating National Blood Donor Month 2009 to encourage donors to give blood.

People require transfusions for a variety of reasons, such as a car accident or severe burn. Others may need transfusions for a short-term problem, such as anemia or to prevent bleeding during cancer therapy. Others, such as those with blood disorders, may require transfusions continually throughout their lifetime.

“Winter is a difficult blood collection time for us because of bad weather and cold and flu season, but transfusions are still needed everyday,” said Kentucky Blood Center spokesperson Jim Tinker. “There is no substitute for blood and we need 400 blood donors each day in our service area to meet the needs of Kentucky patients.”

Blood donors must be 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health and meet additional requirements. Sixteen-year-olds must have a signed parental permission slip, which can be found on the Kentucky Blood Center’s web site,

Those wanting to donate blood or to schedule an appointment to give can call 1-800-775-2522 or visit for blood drive and donor center details.

The Kentucky Blood Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring a safe, adequate blood supply for patients at nearly 70 Kentucky hospitals and clinics in more than 60 counties. In the past year KBC processed and distributed 82,000 red blood cell units and 127,000 blood components in total.