Today is World Blood Donor Day

June 14, 2019

World Blood Donor Day

Today, Denver Health joins organizations around the globe to celebrate World Blood Donor Day. The annual event serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their lifesaving gifts of blood and raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations. This is especially important during the summer vacation season, when blood donations tend to decrease across the country.

At Denver Health, we rely on blood donations to help our patients, especially those who come into our Level One Trauma Center with serious injuries, such as after a major auto accident.

A massive trauma event last month nearly depleted Denver Health's blood bank of type O-positive blood, which is the most-used blood type. The blood bank quickly restocked its supply through the help of a partnership with another Denver hospital, but running the number one trauma center in Colorado means the next major trauma event could cause that supply to dwindle again.

Donors with type O-negative blood are in the most demand for donating because they are known as "the universal donor," with blood that can be given to people of all different blood types.

The best way to donate is to go to Vitalant’s website for a list of locations where you can give. Denver Health also hosts blood donation drives throughout the year.

Here is what you need to know and do before you roll up your sleeve and give blood:

  • It is usually just one poke, and the person taking your blood will cover up the needle so you don't see it going in
  • Eat a healthy meal the day before donating blood
  • Include foods in your meal that are high in iron
  • Drink lots of water the day before donating blood
  • Get plenty of sleep the night before donating blood
  • Make sure you are not sick if you want to donate blood