(WBNG) - January is National Blood Donor Month and while the need for blood donations is always present, it's the shortage of another life-saving blood product that has officials urging those who have recovered from COVID-19 to step up.
Katie Potter with the American Red Cross said there is a national shortage of convalescent plasma, and those that have recovered from COVID-19 can help.
Plasma is the yellow, liquid part of blood that contains antibodies. Antibodies are proteins made by the body in response to infections. So if you have recovered from COVID-19 the plasma in your blood may contain COVID-19 antibodies that can attack the virus.
The Red Cross said hospital distributions of convalescent plasma have increased by 250% since October.
One donation of convalescent plasma could assist a number of patients.
"We've seen locally and around the country, unfortunately, infection rates continuing to rise and with that, hospitalization rates, and that has increased the demand quite significantly for this type of blood product," said Potter, "A dedicated convalescent plasma donation could go on to help up to four patients."
To help address the shortage of convalescent plasma, the American Red Cross is teaming up with the NFL to urge people to donate now.
Everyone who donates blood or platelets this month of January will be automatically entered to win a getaway to next year’s Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles.
On top of that, those who come to give from January 1 through January 20 will also be automatically entered to win a Big Game at Home package, which includes a 65-inch television and a $500 gift card to put toward food and fun.
Blood is needed every two seconds in the U.S. to help patients battling injury and illness. You can schedule an appointment to give blood by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS
Looking to volunteer more in the New Year? The Southern Tier is also in need specifically for volunteer drivers. To learn more click here.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities (Jan. 5-31, 2021)
1/12/2021: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., St. Michael's Orthodox Church, 296-298 Clinton Street
1/14/2021: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Holiday Inn Binghamton Downtown, 2-8 Hawley Street
1/16/2021: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Boulevard United Methodist Church, 113 Grand Boulevard
1/20/2021: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., First Church of the Nazarene, 1282 Chenango St
1/25/2021: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Christ Episcopal Church, 10 Henry Street
1/26/2021: 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Binghamton State Office Building, 44 Hawley Street
1/27/2021: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Bridgewater Baptist Church, 1017 Conklin Road
1/9/2021: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Endicott Community, 620 E Main Street
1/13/2021: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., American Legion Post 1700, 305 Maple Street
1/14/2021: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Maine Endwell Middle School, 1119 Farm to Market Rd #1197
1/30/2021: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 701 W Main Street
1/20/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Glen Aubrey Fire Company, 32 Octagon Street
1/12/2021: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Traditions at the Glen, Hotel & Spa, 4101 Watson Blvd
1/15/2021: 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., American Red Cross, 365 Harry L Drive
1/22/2021: 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., American Red Cross, 365 Harry L Drive
1/29/2021: 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., American Red Cross, 365 Harry L Drive
1/12/2021: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Elks Lodge, 2071 Vestal Parkway West
1/14/2021: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m., Our Lady of Sorrows School Building, 801 Main Street
1/22/2021: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Whitney Point United Methodist Church, 7311 Collins St.
1/22/2021: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Windsor United Methodist Church, 56 Chapel Street