National Blood Donor Month

Payton Wozny, Editorial Board

   January is national blood donor month. Blood donation is crucial for life-saving treatments and is often overlooked, especially by students. In Virginia, people as young as 16 can donate blood, as long as they weigh over 110 pounds and have a parent’s’ permission, making the significant amount of the high school population eligible to donate.  

   There are several types of blood donations, each with their own uses and requirements. The standard blood donation is the shortest of all the donations with the whole process, including check-in, is about 1 hour. A plasma donation takes only 15 more minutes than a standard donation and is for AB blood types. Platelet donation takes the longest of the donations, around 2.5-3 hours, but are crucial for cancer treatments and organ transplants. For plasma and platelet donations, you must be at least 17 years old. Power red donations take about an hour and a half. To donate power reds, females must be 19 years old, and males must be 17 years old. Blood donations are used for a variety of medical treatments including blood disorders, surgeries, and blood loss in trauma patients. 

   O negative blood is the true universal blood type, meaning O negative can be given to any patient. However, O negative is the rarest blood type, making it prone to shortages. Over 2019, O positive blood, the most used blood type for treatment, had several shortages. In the beginning of January, the Red Cross issued a critical need for all blood types. 

   Donating blood is an incredibly rewarding experience, and if you meet the requirements, you should highly consider donating. The Fairfax Blood Donation Center is located only 10 minutes away from Oakton and is open every day of the week. To schedule an appointment, to look for other blood drives, or for more information about blood donations go to redcrossblood.org.

Fairfax Blood Donation Center

8550 Arlington Blvd 

Suite 325

Fairfax, VA 22031