January is National Blood Donor Month — a time to encourage everyone to roll up their sleeves and donate blood. This year’s comes as the entire country is dealing with a blood shortage. The NCH Community Blood Center said just a little bit of your time and blood can have a dramatic impact.
“It is so easy to save three lives in less than 45 minutes,” Laura Rosen, the Community Relations Manager at the NCH Community Blood Center, said. “What's collected here stays here.”
Rosen said the actual blood draw only takes 5-7 minutes.
“Not that many people donate in the nation — only three out of every 100 people. So that's why we continue to see blood shortages nationwide, as well as locally,” she said.
Rosen said every 20 minutes, someone in Collier County receives blood.
“You never know who you're going to be helping. You could be helping a baby. You could be helping an accident victim, a surgical patient, someone who has a blood disorder. You're saving a life,” she said.
The NCH Community Blood Center is critically low in these blood types:
“We do things to offset our shortages, but sometimes we have to look elsewhere and import blood for patient needs. And right now, because there's a critical blood shortage across the nation, there's nowhere to get it from,” Rosen said.
She said people living in Southwest Florida are a key resource in saving lives.
“Please do not delay. When we say critical blood shortage, we don't take that lightly. We do not want to have to cancel surgeries and deny someone patient care because we don't have the adequate resources. It's easy, it's safe, and you're going to make a dramatic impact,” Rosen told Fox 4.
She also said you never know when you or someone you love could be in need of blood.
To donate, you can walk in to the Community Blood Center at NCH North Naples Hospital without an appointment. It’s open Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 8AM-4PM, and Tuesdays from 11AM-7PM.
You can find a list of the Community Blood Center’s blood drives here.