Double your power to help someone: Be a blood donor in 2019

Man gives blood at a Degowin Blood Center blood drive

Want to do more to help others in the new year? Every time you donate one pint of blood at the DeGowin Blood Center at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, two patients can benefit from your donation. That’s because the pint of blood that you donate is separated into two life-saving products—red blood cells and platelets.

All blood donations at the DeGowin Blood Center help patients at UI Hospitals & Clinics and UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Thanks to donors like you, UI Health Care delivers more than 24,000 blood products to its patients every year. 

To honor our donors during National Blood Donor Month, the DeGowin Blood Center is giving away a free T-shirt for every successful donation in January.

Your winter donations will make a huge difference

If you’re not already a blood donor, January is a great time to get started. The need for blood actually increases during the winter months, especially type O blood. But fewer people donate during the winter. Bad weather and sickness keep them away.

Blood cannot be artificially made. So your blood donation provides valuable help for all kinds of people who need it, including cancer patients, patients undergoing organ and marrow transplants, patients having heart surgery, and patients with inherited blood disorders.

These numbers tell the story of blood donation:

  • 1 in 7 people entering the hospital needs blood.
  • Every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • 1 donated pint of blood can save 2 lives after being separated into 2 products: red blood cells and platelets.
  • Red blood cells can be stored for only 42 days.
  • Platelets must be used within just 5 days.
  • Less than 10 percent of eligible donors donate blood each year.
  • A donation of whole blood takes less than 1 hour.

How to become a blood donor

Making a donation of whole blood is easy. Show up, pass a mini-physical and a medical history inquiry, and you’re ready to give. Less than an hour after you arrive, you’ll be munching on refreshments and ready to leave, while your pint of donated blood goes on to help people who need it.

You can also choose to donate platelets instead of whole blood. That takes about two hours. Your donation of platelets can be used to help multiple patients.

If you’re 17 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, and haven’t had any cold or flu symptoms for five days, you’re probably eligible to donate blood.

The DeGowin Blood Center is open Monday through Friday for donations, and donors get free parking during their visit. The blood center also offers a variety of blood drives throughout the community.

Start your blood donation now

You can find a time that works best for you, check your eligibility, and schedule your appointment online. Or call 1-319-356-2058 and we’ll be happy to tell you more about donating blood and schedule an appointment for you.