This January, the American Red Cross invites you to join them in celebrating National Blood Donor Awareness month and celebrating those who have been blood and platelet donors in their lifetime. National Blood Donor Awareness month originally began in 1970 and since then it has encouraged citizens to donate blood, especially during the winter season which is the most demanding time of year for blood donations.
The American Red Cross was founded in 1940 and led by Dr. Charles Drew. Currently, the American Red Cross supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood supply and provides blood for patients in about 2,600 hospitals across the United States. They make blood able for anyone who needs it and does not expect any repayment which allows the patient and family to focus on recovery.
80% of the blood given to the Red Cross is collected at community organizations, high schools, colleges, military installations, or worship centers. The remaining 20% is collected at one of the Red Cross donation centers. Throughout the year, the American Red Cross holds over 145,000 blood drives; and for that many blood drives equals hundreds of thousands of lives saved.
To give you a better perspective on how much blood is used and needed throughout the United States and what your contributions do, here are some facts about blood donations. (All facts are via the American Red Cross)
Facts about blood needs:
- Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
- Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S.
- Nearly 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma are needed daily in the U.S.
- Nearly 21 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S.
- 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.
- It is estimated that sickle cell disease affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the U.S. About 1,000 babies are born with the disease each year. Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.
- More than 1.68 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2016. 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.
Facts about blood supply:
- The number of whole blood and red blood cell units collected in the U.S. in a year: 13.6 million
- The number of blood donors in the U.S. in a year: 6.8 million
- Although an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood at any given time, less than 10% of that eligible population actually do each year.
- Blood cannot be manufactured – it can only come from generous donors.
- Type O negative blood (red cells) can be transfused to patients of all blood types. It is always in great demand and often in short supply.
- Type AB positive plasma can be transfused to patients of all other blood types. AB plasma is also usually in short supply.
The whole point of National Blood Donor Awareness month is to encourage you to donate blood. And we here at CelebMix, highly encourage you, if you are healthy and able to do so, to donate blood this winter or even at any time of the year. Your donation will save lives and that is something truly special. It is a process so simple and so easy that can also change the world.
Facts about the blood donation process:
- Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded.
- Blood donation is a simple four-step process: registration, medical history and mini-physical, donation and refreshments.
- Every blood donor is given a mini-physical, checking the donor’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin to ensure it is safe for the donor to give blood.
- The actual blood donation typically takes less than 10-12 minutes. The entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, takes about an hour and 15 minutes.Donors may save time by completing a RapidPass on the day of their donation prior to arriving at the blood drive.
- The average adult has about 10 pints of blood in his body. Roughly 1 pint is given during a donation.
- A healthy donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days or Power Red every 112 days.
- A healthy donor may donate platelets as few as 7 days apart, but a maximum of 24 times a year.
- All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases before it can be released to hospitals.
- The information you give to the American Red Cross during the donation process is confidential. It may not be released without your permission except as directed by law.
Facts about donors:
- The number one reason donors say they give blood is because they “want to help others.”
- Two most common reasons cited by people who don’t give blood are: “Never thought about it” and “I don’t like needles.”
- Half of Red Cross donors male, and half are female.
- The Red Cross only accepts blood donations from volunteer donors.
- Among Red Cross donors in a given year, 24 percent donate occasionally, 26 percent are first-time donors, and 50 percent are regular, loyal donors.
- Only 7 percent of people in the U.S. have type O negative blood. Type O negative donors are universal red cell donors as their blood can be given to people of all blood types.
- Type O negative blood is needed in emergencies before the patient’s blood type is known and with newborns who need blood.
- Forty-eight percent of people in the U.S. have type O (positive or negative) blood. This percentage is higher among Hispanics – 57 percent, and among African Americans – 51 percent.
- Only 3 percent of people in the U.S. have AB positive blood type. AB positive type blood donors are universal donors of plasma, which is often used in emergencies, for newborns and for patients requiring massive transfusions.
To inspire you further, here is a video of many ordinary people, across the U.S., who have donated blood for many years. (via the American Red Cross YouTube page)
Not just ordinary people are donating blood. Many celebrities have donated blood to the American Red Cross as well! Celebrities such as Penn Badgley, Jamie Lee Curtis, Rascal Flatts, LL Cool J, Heidi Klum, Patti LaBelle, Demi Lovato, Eli and Peyton Manning, Reba McEntire, Raven-Symoné, Daddy Yankee, and many more are National Celebrity Cabinet Members for the Red Cross. That means these celebrities are “on-call,” and they donate their time and skills to help the American Red Cross take initiatives and also respond to tragedy within the U.S.
more celebrities should donate blood like could you imagine having the blood of beyonce running through your veins
— Kevin (@KevinLagang) October 24, 2013
Whether you are young or old, or big or small, we hope you are inspired by National Blood Donor Awareness month to donate blood. Your small contribution makes all the difference to the lives of patients, doctors, and nurses. CelebMix encourages you to click here to find a location near you where you can donate.