Since 1970, January has been recognized as National Blood Donor Month to honor donors and stress the importance of blood donation.
This January, Delawareans can start the year off by making a resolution to help the community and lives of citizens. It’s the perfect time to donate blood - when unpredictable weather and post-holiday activities make it difficult for donors to schedule appointments. Those who already donate once each year can make it two in 2014. According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood.
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 surgeries need blood to be available on standby, blood donation plays a vital role in patient safety,” says Mary Rodger, Quality Insights 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 Delaware, Quality Insights of Delaware 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 nearby, go to www.redcrossblood.org.
Those unable to donate blood can still support the cause by volunteering at a community drive, referring someone to donate blood or platelets (the No. 1 reason people don't donate is they haven't been asked) or hosting a blood drive at a school, business or faith-based organization
Quality Insights of Delaware, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, protects Medicare patient rights and works collaboratively with hospitals and other healthcare providers in Delaware to assist them in their efforts to improve the quality of the care they deliver. To learn more about this nonprofit organization, visit www.qide.org. CMS is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.