Did you know that every two seconds someone needs blood in the United States? That's a staggering fact (not to mention a huge amount of blood!) This amounts to 36,000 units of blood each day.
Have you considered giving blood lately? The need is paramount. If you have Type O blood, the need is even greater as it is the most requested blood type by hospitals.
What are blood donations needed for?
Blood is needed by people in all types of medical conditions. Some of the most common needs for blood are:
Sickle cell anemia - An estimated 90,000 - 100,000 people are affected with this condition, and an additional 1,000 babies are born each year with the disease. Sickle cell anemia patients often require blood transfusions throughout their lives.
Cancer - 1.69 million people were expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2017 alone. The blood need for some of these patients going through chemotherapy is almost daily.
Car accidents - 100 pints of blood may be required for a single car accident victim.
If you are considering donating blood but are worried about it, don't be. Blood donation is a safe and simple process.
Is blood donation safe?
Blood donation is absolutely safe. New, sterile needles are used for every donation and then discarded.
All donated blood is also checked for the following:
How long does it take to donate blood?
Blood donation is a short process. The actual medical donation only takes about 10-12 minutes. Before you give blood, you must register, give your medical history, and receive a mini-physical. Afterwards, refreshments are given. The entire process takes just over an hour.
The mini-physical includes checking the donor's temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin just to ensure that it is safe for the donor to give blood.
How often can I donate blood?
A single person may donate red blood cells blood once every 56 days. This is because the human body contains approximately 10 pints of blood, and one pint is taken during donation. The waiting period is to ensure that regeneration of the donated blood has taken place.
Blood platelets may be donated every 7 days and a maximum of 24 times per year.
Why are blood donations needed so badly?
Aside from the staggering number of units of blood needed daily, there are a few other reasons blood is needed so badly:
Donated red blood cells only have a shelf life of 42 days
Donated platelets only have a shelf life of 5 days
Plasma only has a shelf-life of one year
Where can I donate blood?
If you are living in Elk City, OK or the surrounding area, an American Red Cross blood drive is happening on February 20th! Here are the details:
When: Feb. 20, 11am - 5pm
Where: Great Plains Regional Medical Center (1801 W. 3rd St. in Elk City, OK - look for the blood mobile!)
Appointments: Contact Linda Rule at 580-821-5552
Sunshine Home Care provides home health in Elk City, OK and most of Western Oklahoma. For more information on our agency, visit here or contact us today.
Source: American Red Cross