Myrtle Beach-area residents have opportunities to give blood locally during National Blood Donor Month

January is National Blood Donor Month, and to help you lend a pint or two, the American Red Cross has several blood drives scheduled at various locations across the Grand Strand this month.

“Patients must rely on volunteer blood donors to constantly replenish supply,” said Krystal Overmyer, external communications manager for the American Red Cross in a release. “Regular blood donations are needed all year long.”

January has been National Blood Donor Month since 1970 because the month has consistently been a tough one for receiving blood donations, due to factors like inclement weather or health problems like colds or the flu that prohibit people from donating.

Blood has a shelf life of 42 days and blood types O negative, A negative and B negative are especially needed. O negative is the universal blood type that can be given to any patient.