4 Reasons to Donate Blood This Year

Alli Walsh, Social Media Strategist

4 Reasons to Donate Blood This Year

Maybe you have a loved one who received a blood donation in the past, or maybe you’ve received one yourself during a time of need. Or possibly, you just want to help someone else. There are many reasons people decide to donate blood and quite honestly, people’s reasons are as unique as the people themselves. Whatever your motivation, consider donating blood during January, National Blood Donor Month, and throughout the year. According the American Red Cross, someone requires blood donation every two seconds in the U.S.1, creating a continuous need for donations to ensure supply exists to help those in need. Here’s why you should consider donation this year:

1. Humans are the only source of donated blood.

Currently, there is no artificial substitute for human blood.  Of the recipients of the 36,000 units of red blood cells transfused daily and 21 million blood components transfused each year in the U.S.2, human donations are the only source. Car accidents, cancer, sickle cell anemia and many other illnesses and accidents create an ongoing need for a constant replenishment of donated blood. 

2. Donating blood is safe.

An average adult has 10 pints of blood in his or her body and approximately one pint is given during donation through sterile, single-use needle. Healthy donors are able to give red cells every 56 days. Platelet donation can be done every 7 days, up to 24 times per year3. These regulations ensure donation doesn’t put the giver at risk. All blood donations are tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C and other infectious diseases before release to healthcare institutions.

3. Donating blood is simple.

Your donation is quick, relatively pain-free and involves an easy, four-step process.

  • Registration: Paperwork takes just a moment, but donors can save time with RapidPass , an online registration process.
  • Medical history and mini-physical: Information shared with the American Red Cross is confidential. After a few questions to ensure good health and eligibility, volunteers check temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin level to ensure safety to donate.
  • Donation: Within 10-12 minutes, the actual donation will be complete. Average time to complete the entire blood donation process is 15 minutes.4
  • Refreshments: Rest and refuel for a few moments before going back to your day.

4. Donating blood makes a difference.

According to American’s Blood Centers, one pint of donated blood has the ability to save three lives.5 And while 38 percent of the American population is eligible to donate regularly, only 10 percent of that eligible population actually does.6 In order to ensure supply remains to help people in need with all blood types, regular donation is needed. There is a special need for rarer blood types, like O negative blood, also known as the “universal donor”,  as it can be given to anyone in need. AB negative plasma can also be given universally. No matter what your blood type, make a plan to donate today. Find a blood drive near you and be the difference to someone with blood or blood component needs this year.

 

References:

1,2,3,4,6 http://www.redcrossblood.org/learn-about-blood/blood-facts-and-statistics

5 http://www.americasblood.org/about-blood/facts-figures.aspx

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