Blood donation sign
A sign in Carmel Valley is urging people to donate blood. Photo by Chris jennewein

San Diego Blood Bank the local blood bank serving San Diego County is celebrating National Blood Donor Month throughout January by honoring blood donors who regularly roll up their sleeves and help save lives and inviting those who have never donated before to donate.  

National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970 to increase blood and platelet donations during winter – one of the most challenging times of the year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs.

Right now, there is an urgent need for blood donations, as San Diego’s blood supply is critically low and SDBB is experiencing supply chain challenges.   

Every two seconds in America, someone needs blood, and one in seven patients entering a hospital requires blood transfusions. This ranges from trauma victims to patients battling sickle cell disease or Thalassemia or to ensure a successful organ or bone marrow transplant.

Cancer patients use 25 percent of all blood donations and blood transfusions are needed in one out of every 83 newborn deliveries in America today. One blood donation could save up to three lives.  

“Blood is unique in our healthcare system,” said Doug Morton, San Diego Blood Bank CEO. “There is no substitute, and it cannot be synthetically made so volunteer blood donations are the only way to provide blood to hospital patients in need.”  

To be eligible to donate blood you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 114 pounds and be in generally good health. Appointments are encouraged and available by visiting sandiegobloodbank.org or by calling (619) 400-8251. Walk-ins are welcome.  

The nonprofit Blood Bank serves hospitals throughout Southern California with more than 150,000 units of blood each year. There are donation locations and 10 bloodmobiles.