A Call for Donations during National Blood Donor Month; An Open Letter from Courtney Robinson, a Member of the American Society for Clinical Pathology

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Winter is one of the most difficult times to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs. National Blood Donor Month is an effort to boost blood and platelet donations during this critical time.

Courtney Robinson

Blood Donors give a part of themselves to another in need with no concern for race, gender, age or affiliation.

Each year, January is recognized as National Blood Donor Month. It falls just after the holidays, during which many of us find ourselves searching for the perfect gift for our loved ones – the one they’ll never forget – the one that comes from the heart. January celebrates those that have truly found the perfect gift – Blood Donors.

Courtney Robinson, a member of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, has published an open letter calling for donations during National Blood Donor Month in January. “Blood donors give a part of themselves to another in need with no concern for race, gender, age or affiliation. It is amazing to know that people feel personal accountability to humanity and give the gift of life to another. In my opinion, there are few better ways to pay it forward,” Robinson writes.

“I am a laboratorian, with deep roots in Blood Bank and I’m very passionate about blood donation,” she writes. “From within the medical laboratory, it is easy to see the constant, daily need for blood products. In the Blood Bank, the urgency is palpable. I have seen people from all walks of life be rescued from the very grips of death with these life-saving products. A new mom with a post-partum hemorrhage, a high school senior injured in a car wreck leaving prom, a grandparent in emergency need of Coumadin reversal, a premature infant struggling to thrive, a Sickle Cell patient in crisis, a child with leukemia – the list goes on and on. The need never goes away, it is always there.”

For these individuals, donated blood products can be the gift of life.

National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970. The goal is to increase blood and platelet donations during winter, typically one of the most difficult times to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs. Blood donation appointments can be made by downloading the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or to receive more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.

“People naturally love the feeling of giving because it lights up their spirit to show kindness to another. This innate trait is beautiful and humbling and makes you believe in the very purest of qualities of mankind – kindness,” says Robinson. “As author D. Elton Trueblood said it, ‘It takes a noble man to plant a seed for a tree that will someday give shade to people he may never meet.’ So dear blood donors – I thank you! Thank you for your noble, giving spirit, and for the most perfect gift of all!

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Susan Montgomery
American Society for Clinical Pathology
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