Since 1970, January has been recognized as National Blood Donor Month after President Richard Nixon declared it as such on December 31, 1969. In his proclamation, the late President Nixon stated that “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.”
Today, after almost a year since COVID-19 reached American soil, the need to donate blood stands. According to the Red Cross, this year’s Blood Donor Month, “coincides with one of the most difficult times to maintain a sufficient blood supply for patients and this year is no exception.” And, as we continue to see cases rise both in Florida and nationally, the need for convalescent plasma (plasma from eligible survivors of COVID-19), increases as well.
What to Expect
If you’re a first-time blood donor, here’s what you can expect:
- Registration – Sign in, share your ID, and review important information
- Health History/Physical – An overview of your health history
- Donation time – One pint is drawn and usually takes no longer than 10 minutes
- Recovery –The team typically provides a snack and a drink to boost your blood sugar as you recover for around 15 minutes
- Testing – Your blood is sent off to be tested and distributed to patients in need
Where to Donate in Polk County
- Winter Haven Hospital Community Blood Center (460 1st St. N.)
- BioLife Plasma Services (6415 S. Florida Ave.)
- OneBlood – Locations + drives vary.
- CSL Plasma (2041 George Jenkins Blvd.)