January is National Blood Donor Month, and the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) is encouraging all service members to make a resolution to give blood regularly in 2015. National Blood Donor Month recognizes the importance of giving blood and platelets while honoring those who roll up a sleeve to help patients in need.
“We couldn’t save lives without our donors,” says Army Lt. Col. Jason Corley, the program’s deputy director of operations. “As a program, we have saved thousands of lives this year and that happened because of our donor’s support. They are the ‘silent heroes.’”
Unpredictable winter weather can result in blood drive cancellations, and seasonal illnesses, like the flu, may cause some donors to be unable to make or keep blood donation appointments.
Individuals of all blood types are needed. With a shelf life of 42 days, red blood cells must be constantly replenished to maintain an adequate supply for patients. All blood collected by the ASBP directly supports ill or injured service members, retirees and their families worldwide – whenever and wherever they need it the most.
“For more than 40 years, National Blood Donor Month has given hope to those who may have otherwise faced very adverse health risks,” says Corley. “However, with advances in medical technology and research, people are now getting the blood they need and as a result, now experience a better quality of life.”