7 Reasons Why Blood Donation is ImportantGeneral
Did you know blood donations in the United States often drop off around and after the holidays, creating a significant need in hospitals? Many people require transfusions during surgeries, after accidents, and during cancer treatment resulting in someone needing blood every two seconds.
“I feel it is our obligation to better educate the general population around the various uses of blood products, to dispel any misconceptions surrounding this. Blood products play a vital role in the treatment of many medical conditions including anemia, cancer and inherited and acquired blood diseases,” says Prashant Shankar, MD, a hematologist-oncologist with Steward Health Care and Steward Medical Group. “These donations truly help save lives.”
Here are 7 reasons why it’s important to give blood:
- Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S.
- On a daily basis, nearly 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma are needed.
- Nearly 21 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S.
- If you have type O, you have the most requested blood type by hospitals, making donating especially
- In the U.S., sickle cell disease affects 90,000 to 100,000 people and many may require blood transfusions throughout their lives.
- According to the American Cancer Society, many of the approximately 1.7 million people who are expected to be diagnosed with cancer each year will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
- A car accident victim can require as much as 100 pints of blood.
Donating blood or blood components such as platelets is quick and easy and can make an enormous difference in the lives of people with serious health conditions. The requirements to donate whole blood are:
- Be in good health and feeling well at the time of donation.
- Be at least 17 years old in most states (16 years old with parental consent in some states).
- Weigh at least 110 lbs.
- Have not donated blood in the last 56 days.
Blood drives are held frequently across the United States. To find a blood drive near you or to learn more about how to donate platelets, visit redcrossblood.org.
*Source: American Red Cross, redcrossblood.org
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