The American Red Cross estimates that someone needs a blood transfusion approximately every two seconds. National Blood Donor Month brings awareness to this need during the month of January when the blood supply tends to be at its lowest. Though, in the midst of the pandemic, that low, January trend has been felt by hospitals and clinics — and their patients — for months.

Claudia Cohn, MD, PhD, a pathologist with the University of Minnesota Medical School and M Health Fairview and the chief medical officer for the American Association of Blood Banks, explains why donating blood today is needed now more than ever and how choosing to give could equip those donors with new information about their exposure to COVID-19.

See Q&A here.