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A Month of Giving: The Importance of National Blood Donor Month in the United States


A meaningful impact and ICCBBA’s role through the ISBT 128 Standard in donating blood.


The arrival of January signifies more than just the dawn of a new year. It brings with it a critical cause known as National Blood Donor Month, celebrated in the United States and is a time when we not only celebrate the generous individuals who donate their blood to save others, but also aim to inspire more people to join this life-saving mission.


The timing is crucial. Post-holidays, blood donations tend to decline, causing a dip in the essential stockpiles at blood banks. Yet, the demand for blood never takes a holiday. Regardless of the season, every second, there's a patient waiting for this life-saving gift. Thus, this month-long observance underlines the continuous need for blood donations and galvanizes us to bridge the gap between the falling supplies and the unchanging demand. It's a clarion call for each one of us to step up, roll up our sleeves, and give a part of ourselves for the benefit of others.


National Blood Donor Month shines a spotlight on this imperative need and provides an ideal platform to honor those who have embraced the cause and to encourage others to become a part of this noble endeavor. Moreover, as we embark on this crucial month, it is worth noting that June 14, 2024 marks World Blood Donor Day, a global initiative emphasizing the importance of voluntary blood donation and expressing gratitude to those who contribute to this humanitarian cause. It is more than just a month on a calendar; it's an opportunity to make a tangible difference in the world, one pint at a time. 


The Role of ISBT 128 Standards in Blood Donations


Behind the scenes of every blood donation, there is a crucial framework that allows for the safety, and traceability of the donated blood. The ISBT 128 Standard, maintained by ICCBBA, an international non-profit organization plays a pivotal role in standardizing the information associated with blood products. These standards establish a globally unique identification for both labeling and electronic messaging of medical products of human origin (MPHO) worldwide.


By adhering to ISBT 128 Standards, blood banks can efficiently track each unit of donated blood, reducing the risk of errors and enhancing the overall safety of the blood supply chain. This standardized system not only facilitates communication between different healthcare facilities but also plays a vital role in emergency situations where quick and accurate information about blood products is essential.


As we celebrate National Blood Donor Month, it's essential to recognize the behind-the-scenes efforts that contribute to the success of blood donation programs, and the adherence to ISBT 128 Standards stands as a testament to the commitment to the highest standards of quality and safety in the field of blood transfusion. 


How to Get Involved


One of the most accessible ways to participate is by donating blood at local blood drives or centers. To find a convenient location, you can visit the Association for Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies website (https://www.aabb.org/) and use their “Find a location" tool. This resource provides up-to-date information on blood donation centers across the country, making it easy for individuals to locate a place where they can make a difference. For those in Europe, please use the following link to “Find a location” near you. 


Moreover, if you're interested in learning more about the importance of blood donation and the personal stories that fuel this life-saving mission, consider signing up for a webinar. America's Blood Centers offers webinars like "Unlocking the Power of Personal Stories," providing valuable insights into the impact of blood donation on both donors and recipients. Webinars are an excellent way to deepen your understanding of the cause and connect with like-minded individuals who share a passion for making a positive difference.



Whether you're a seasoned donor or considering donating for the first time, taking part in National Blood Donor Month activities and utilizing these resources can enhance your experience and contribute to the success of this vital initiative. Together, we can ensure a steady supply of blood for those in need and celebrate the spirit of giving that defines this special month. 


Free Resources from NBDM and ICCBBA



 

Stay connected, stay informed, and stay inspired with ICCBBA.  

Subscribe to our newsletter at: https://www.isbt128.org/newsletter  


About ICCBBA:  

ICCBBA is the international standards organization responsible for the management and development of the ISBT 128 Standard.


The acronym ISBT was originally derived from the important role played by the International Society of Blood Transfusion in the development of the standard. Today it expands as Information Standard for Blood and Transplant. The number 128 reflects the 128 characters of the ISO/IEC 646 7-bit character set.


The acronym ICCBBA is derived from the International Council for Commonality in Blood Banking Automation.

 

 

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Christina Salinas

Global Development Manager

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