So, today is World Blood Donor day. This actually has a special place for me. I recently went into the hospital for some female issues and needed 7 transfusions of blood. They even ran out of my blood type and had to give me O-. I was literally on the brink of bleeding to death. I have donated blood in the past and of course the people who are taking the blood say thank you and that you are saving lives. When I heard that I would just be like, “yea that’s great”, and not think about it again until another blood donor truck came by.
I went onto Community Blood Center’s website and got some facts for you guys today.
It’s a fact… you must wait 56 days between whole blood donations. Now here are 56 other facts about giving blood:
- 4.5 million Americans will a need blood transfusion each year.
- 43,000 pints: amount of donated blood used each day in the U.S. and Canada.
- Someone needs blood every two seconds.
- Only 37 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood – less than 10 percent do annually.**
- About one in seven people entering a hospital need blood.
- One pint of blood can save up to three lives.
- Healthy adults who are at least 17 years old, and at least 110 pounds may donate about a pint of blood – the most common form of donation – every 56 days, or every two months. Females receive 53 percent of blood transfusions; males receive 47 percent.
- 94 percent of blood donors are registered voters.
- Four main red blood cell types: A, B, AB and O. Each can be positive or negative for the Rh factor. AB is the universal recipient; O negative is the universal donor of red blood cells.
- Dr. Karl Landsteiner first identified the major human blood groups – A, B, AB and O – in 1901.
- One unit of blood can be separated into several components: red blood cells, plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitate.
- Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues.
- Red blood cells live about 120 days in the circulatory system.
- Platelets promote blood clotting and give those with leukemia and other cancers a chance to live.
- Plasma is a pale yellow mixture of water, proteins and salts.
- Plasma, which is 90 percent water, makes up 55 percent of blood volume.
- Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets.
- Blood or plasma that comes from people who have been paid for it cannot be used to human transfusion.
- Granulocytes, a type of white blood cell, roll along blood vessel walls in search of bacteria to engulf and destroy.
- White cells are the body’s primary defense against infection.
- Apheresis is a special kind of blood donation that allows a donor to give specific blood components, such as platelets.
- Forty-two days: how long most donated red blood cells can be stored.
- Five days: how long most donated platelets can be stored.
- One year: how long frozen plasma can be stored.
- Much of today’s medical care depends on a steady supply of blood from healthy donors.
- Three pints: the average whole blood and red blood cell transfusion.*
- Children being treated for cancer, premature infants and children having heart surgery need blood and platelets from donors of all types, especially type O.
- Anemic patients need blood transfusions to increase their red blood cell levels.
- Cancer, transplant and trauma patients, and patients undergoing open-heart surgery may require platelet transfusions to survive.
- Sickle cell disease is an inherited disease that affects more than 80,000 people in the United States, 98 percent of whom are of African descent.
- Many patients with severe sickle cell disease receive blood transfusions every month.
- A patient could be forced to pass up a lifesaving organ, if compatible blood is not available to support the transplant.
- Thirteen tests (11 for infectious diseases) are performed on each unit of donated blood.
- Seventeen percent of non-donors cite “never thought about it” as the main reason for not giving, while 15 percent say they’re too busy.
- The number one reason blood donors say they give is because they “want to help others.”
- Shortages of all blood types happen during the summer and winter holidays.
- Blood centers often run short of types O and B red blood cells.
- The rarest blood type is the one not on the shelf when it’s needed by a patient.
- There is no substitute for human blood.
- If all blood donors gave three times a year, blood shortages would be a rare event. (The current average is about two.).
- If only one more percent of all Americans would give blood, blood shortages would disappear for the foreseeable future.
- 46.5 gallons: amount of blood you could donate if you begin at age 17 and donate every 56 days until you reach 79 years old.
- Four easy steps to donate blood: medical history, quick physical, donation and snacks.
- The actual blood donation usually takes about 10 minutes. The entire process – from the time you sign in to the time you leave – takes about an hour.
- After donating blood, you replace the fluid in hours and the red blood cells within four weeks. It takes eight weeks to restore the iron lost after donating.
- You cannot get AIDS or any other infectious disease by donating blood.
- 10 pints: amount of blood in the body of an average adult.
- One unit of whole blood is roughly the equivalent of one pint.
- Blood makes up about seven percent of your body’s weight.
- A newborn baby has about one cup of blood in his body.
- Giving blood will not decrease your strength.
- Any company, community organization, place of worship or individual may contact their local community blood center to host a blood drive.
- Blood drives hosted by companies, schools, places of worship and civic organizations supply roughly half of all blood donations across the U.S.
- People who donate blood are volunteers and are not paid for their donation.
- 500,000: the number of Americans who donated blood in the days following the September 11 attacks.
- Blood donation. It’s about an hour of your time. It’s About Life.
*Source: The 2007 Nationwide Blood Collection and Utilization Survey Report, Department of Health & Human Services.
**W Riley, et al. The United States’ potential blood donor pool: estimating the prevalence of donor-exclusion factors on the pool of potential donors. Transfusion 2007.
Happy World Blood Donor Day! Go donate blood if you can! You might save someone’s life!
Be Strong and Courageous