Archive for June, 2010
As a young child, I remember spending Saturday mornings with Mom and Dad at our local American Red Cross every eight weeks or so. I thought it was cool to go in with them and see the whole process, thinking that “When I grow up, I’m totally going to do this.” As I was walking home from work today, I passed a blood drive going on at a hospital, so I decided to stop. One finger prick, an hour of my time and one pint of blood, it was all over with. I checked in with my dad knowing that he has been donating whole blood pretty much all of his adult life. His numbers are truly amazing! In all, he has donated 25.5 gallons of blood, which equates to 204 donations. I would be interested in knowing how many lives he has helped save.
Our world has experienced several natural disasters over the last several months. People are quick to throw money and blood donations in the first three weeks. But it may be the next six to twelve months that are much more crucial for blood donations. The following facts can be found at http://www.redcross.org:
- Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
- More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
- A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S. (2006).
- The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints.
- The blood type most often requested by hospitals is Type O.
- The blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event occurs.
- Sickle cell disease affects more than 80,000 people in the U.S., 98 percent of whom are African American. Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.
- More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
- A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.
Only about 37% of Americans are eligible to donate blood. Of that, only 8% actually donate. Will you?