Since 1970, January has been recognized as National Blood Donor Month to honor donors and stress the importance of blood donation.
– Since 1970, January has been recognized as National Blood Donor Month to honor donors and stress the importance of blood donation. This January, start the year off by making a resolution to help your community and the lives of people around you. It’s the perfect time to donate blood – when unpredictable weather and post-holiday activities make it difficult for donors to schedule appointments. If you already donate once each year, make it two in 2014. According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day. There are only a few requirements to be eligible to donate blood. Donors must be healthy, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old in most states or 16 years old with parental consent if allowed by state law. The American Red Cross reports that just one pint of blood donated can save up to three lives. “Since many major surgeries need blood to be available on standby, blood donation plays a vital role in patient safety,” says Donna Balsley, Quality Insights of Pennsylvania Health Care Quality Improvement Director. “Blood donation is a small way to make a big impact on your community.” As the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for Pennsylvania, Quality Insights of Pennsylvania is committed to helping hospitals and nursing homes provide better patient care. A component of this work is surgery safety. To learn more about the blood donation process and to locate a blood donation event near you, please visit the American Red Cross Web site at http://www.redcrossblood.org/. If you are unable to donate blood, there are other ways to start the year with a life-saving gift: Volunteer at a community drive Refer someone to donate blood or platelets – the number one reason people don’t donate is because they haven’t been asked Host a blood drive at your school, place of business or faith-based organization About Quality Insights of Pennsylvania Quality Insights of Pennsylvania, the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for Pennsylvania, is committed to partnering with health care providers across the state to bring about widespread, significant improvements in the quality of care they deliver. Quality Insights strongly supports the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services three-point aim of providing better health, better care and lower costs. To learn more about this non-profit organization, visit www.qipa.org.