KBC Celebrates National Blood Donor Month Jan. 3, 2023

One in Four Will Need a Blood Transfusion in Their Lifetime

KBC 'Do Good, Feel Good' hoodie.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – This January, Kentucky Blood Center and blood nations across the country are celebrating National Blood Donor Month to recognize those who regularly roll up their sleeves to help save local lives.

To kick off the month, KBC is offering its always popular hoodies now through Jan. 14 at all locations.

KBC relies on volunteer blood donors to supply more than 70 local hospitals and meet area patients’ needs. Donated blood components are vital to a wide range of treatments, including cancer, trauma, sickle cell disease, organ transplant, surgeries and much more.

“We are so grateful for our loyal blood donors who answer the call on a regular basis to provide lifesaving blood for Kentuckians,” said Mandy Brajuha, vice president of external relations at KBC. “Blood is always in need, but now more so than ever we want to say thank you to those donors who have made blood donation a priority and make a plea to everyone to consider making it a regular habit. Local lives cannot be saved without the dedication of generous donors. Simply put, we need higher donor turnout to provide a healthy blood supply.”

Blood is unique in the healthcare ecosystem in that it cannot be synthetically made, meaning volunteers are the only way to provide blood to those in need. 

According to America's Blood Centers

  • Someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds.
  • One in four people will need a blood transfusion in their lifetime.
  • One in seven patients entering a hospital require blood to be available.
  • Cancer patients use 25% of all blood donations.
  • Blood transfusions are needed in one out of every 83 newborn deliveries in America today, a rate that has increased by more than 50% between 2006 and 2015.
  • Only 3% of all Americans donate blood.
Currently, only 3% of the U.S. population donates blood.

Older Americans are among the most frequent donors, according to ABC. The rate of donations from those 65 and older increased by 15% between 2017 and 2019. During that same period, the percentage of younger donors who donated blood – those between the ages of 16 and 24 years old – decreased by double digits.

KBC has been particularly affected by the troubling trends, often operating with an urgent or critical supply, meaning the nonprofit organization only had a single-day supply or less of several blood types provide local hospitals. The nonprofit currently has a critical need for all negative blood types.

As people make resolutions for the new year, Kentucky Blood Center is encouraging potential donors to make the gift of live a part of their plans. Blood donations typically take less than an hour, and products from a single donation can save up to three lives.

KBC offers daily opportunities to give blood. Kentucky Blood Center has eight centers in six cities across Kentucky (Lexington, Louisville, Corbin, Frankfort, Pikeville and Somerset) and mobile drives in more than 90 counties. Donor centers are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mobile drives can be found at my.kybloodcenter.org/donor/schedules/zip.

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health, show a photo I.D. and meet additional requirements. Sixteen-year-olds must have a signed parental permission slip, which can be found at kybloodcenter.org.

Donors can schedule an appointment at kybloodcenter.org or call 800.775.2522. Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are accepted as space allows.

About Kentucky Blood Center

Celebrating 55 years of saving lives in Kentucky, KBC is the largest independent, full-service, nonprofit blood center in Kentucky. Licensed by the FDA, KBC’s sole purpose is to collect, process and distribute blood for patients in Kentucky. KBC provides services in 90 Kentucky counties and has donor centers in Lexington, Louisville, Frankfort, Pikeville, Somerset and the Tri-County area.