Have you ever donated blood? Many people have at least once in their lives, usually for the occasional campus, church, or company blood drive, or perhaps spurred by a tragic event somewhere in the world. So why do so many stop giving? Is it the fear of needles, or too much of a time commitment? Believe it or not, only about 38% of the entire U.S. population is even eligible to donate blood, for one reason or another. Of those qualified, fewer than 10% manage to contribute to their local blood bank each year. Pretty surprising, right? Check out these other tidbits you may not know about donating blood:
Blood Donation Facts
- Blood transfusions are not only for car accident or trauma victims. Cancer patients often need blood during their chemotherapy treatments.
- Just over 9 million donors in the U.S. account for the nearly 16 million annual blood donations
- There are four types of blood cell: A, B, AB, and O, and each of those may be either positive or negative (Rh factor). If you’re type O negative you can donate to anyone. If you’re type AB you can receive anyone’s blood. Types O and B are often in short supply.
- A single pint of blood can save three lives.
- 11 of the 13 tests performed on donated blood are for infectious diseases, and you can’t contract any disease from donating.
- A pint of blood can only be stored for about 42 days, and platelets will only last around 5 days.
- The average adult has about 10 pints of blood, and one unit of blood is around one pint.
- It usually only takes about an hour from the moment you walk in the door to walking back out, and the actual donation only takes about 10 minutes or less. Plus you get a snack – what more could you want?
So the next time you see a poster or flyer for a blood drive, consider stopping in and donating. An hour of your life can literally save someone else's.