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Blood Banks Set Record Goal for January

Challenge marks National Volunteer Blood Donor Month

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- America's major blood banks have set a goal of collecting 1.2 million units of blood during January, a time when blood is traditionally in short supply.

To meet their ambitious goal, the groups are challenging all eligible Americans who have never donated blood to make it part of their New Year's resolutions.

The American Association of Blood Banks, America's Blood Centers and the American Red Cross issued the challenge to kick off National Volunteer Blood Donor Month in January.

January is usually a difficult month for blood centers to collect donations, because of holidays, busy travel schedules, inclement weather and illness.

"The winter season can lead to a reduction in donor turnout, which can put our nation's blood inventory at a critical low," says Karen Shoos Lipton, chief executive officer of the American Association of Blood Banks. "Our goal is to ensure that blood is readily available to patients whenever and wherever it is needed because it is the blood on the shelves that saves lives."

About 1.12 million units of red blood cells were collected during January 2003. This year's goal represents a 7 percent increase.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about blood donation.

SOURCES: American Association of Blood Banks, news release, January 2004
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