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COVID-19: WE ARE STILL ACCEPTING ORDERS BUT HAVE A 4-5 DAY SHIPMENT DELAY IN DUE TO VOLUME
COVID-19: WE ARE STILL ACCEPTING ORDERS BUT THERE WILL BE A 4-5 DAY SHIPPING DELAY DUE TO VOLUME
National Blood Donor Month

National Blood Donor Month

Donating blood is one of the most important things you can do for public health. The need for blood is constant: someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds. Not everyone is eligible, but those of us who are should always consider donating, especially in the winter season when donation levels drop off due to inclement weather and illnesses.

National Blood Donor Month

Facts About the Need for Blood

It's not uncommon to see calls for blood donations from organizations like the Red Cross, but it's staggering to see that need expressed in straightforward numbers:

  • Around 4.5 million people in the U.S. need a blood transfusion each year.
  • 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed daily in the U.S.
  • 3 units of red blood cells are in the average transfusion.
  • 10,000 units of plasma and 7,000 units of platelets are needed daily in the U.S.
  • 21 million blood components are transfused yearly in the U.S.
  • 1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood.

Compounding this need is the length of time when blood components are viable:

  • Red blood cells must be used within 42 days or less.
  • Platelets must be used within 5 days.

 

Blood Donation Who Needs Blood

Who Needs Blood

There are a number of diseases and situations that require considerable amounts of donated blood. Among them:
Accidents, disasters, and violent incidents: A single car accident victim can require up to 100 pints (around 100 units) of blood during lifesaving procedures, while the average adult holds about 8 to 12 pints. During larger scale events like natural disasters or mass shootings, the need increases that much more.

Sickle cell disease: This form of anemia that alters the shape of red blood cells and affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the U.S. Sickle cell disease patients can require blood transfusions their entire lives.

Cancer: Over 1.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer yearly in the U.S., and these patients will need blood during treatments like chemotherapy.

Certain blood types are more in demand than others, with type O blood being the most requested by hospitals:

  • Only 7 percent of Americans have Type O negative red blood cells, the "universal donor" that can be given to all blood types.
  • Only 3 percent of Americans have Type AB positive plasma, which can be given to all blood types.

Give Blood Save Life

Am I Eligible?

Around 37 percent of Americans are eligible to donate blood, but less than 10 percent donate annually. To find out if you're eligible to donate, take a look at the Red Cross guide to eligibility requirements.

There are many myths on who's eligible to donate blood and who's not. You should always confirm your eligibility with an organization like the Red Cross when about to donate, but here's a quick guide to who can and can't give blood:

  • Cold or flu? Ineligible. Wait at least 24 hours until your symptoms pass.
  • Recent tattoo? Eligible. Many states will allow you to give blood immediately if you've been tattooed by a state-certified artist.
  • Under 18? Eligible in most states, as long as you're 16 and receive parental permission.
  • Recent foreign travel? It varies, based on where you've visited and its risk of diseases like malaria. Be prepared to give information on your trip when donating.
  • Taking medications? Eligible in most cases. Check with the Red Cross if you have questions.
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