Week 2 – Be A Blood Donor

11 05 2012

When I think about blood donation I get choked up, it’s touched our lives.  I truly believe that donating blood saved someone who I love very much.  He was a regular blood donor and in the span from one donation to another a few years ago his counts were off, he was told to rest and try again in a few days.  When he went in again his counts were further off.  He was sent to see a specialist.  He was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder that presents its self much like leukemia – although since it is not lukemia the normal treatment options were not an option.  Over the past couple of years the doctors at the local hospital and the Mayo Clinic have tried a number of treatment options and the most recent one is showing good results.  We are so grateful that he was a regular blood donor, it saved his life, and now regular blood donors are saving his life.  He is getting blood and/or platelet transfusions every few weeks.  I am so glad that God gave him the opportunity for a ‘heads up’ through his blood donations – it has given our family the opportunity to learn how to savor every minute, we’re aware that none of us is promised tomorrow, so we try hard to find the joy in today because today we have each other.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Only 5 percent of eligible donors across the nation donate blood, but the number of transfusions nationwide increases by 9 percent every year and about 80,000 units of blood products are transfused at Mayo Clinic annually.  Statistics show that 25 percent or more of us will require blood at least once in our lifetime, that’s a high statistic right there! The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program has to buy nearly a quarter (25%) of its blood products from the American Red Cross to help meet the needs of our patients and to prevent postponing surgeries – think about what that money could be used for if we all donated blood.

Here are a few facts about blood donation from The American Red Cross:

  • 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.
  • Two most common reasons cited by people who don’t give blood are: “Never thought about it” and “I don’t like needles.”
  • If you began donating blood at age 17 and donated every 56 days until you reached 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood, potentially helping save more than 1,000 lives!
  • Among Red Cross donors in a given year, 19 percent donate occasionally, 31 percent are first-time donors, and 50 percent are regular, loyal donors.
  • Only 7 percent of people in the U.S. have O-negative blood type. O-negative blood type donors are universal 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-five 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.

This week is a personal plea from me, become a blood donor – it’s an easy process and there are blood drives and/or centers near you.  You never know who’s life you’re saving.

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18 05 2012
Week 3 – K-Love Radio « Life is Good as a gitter

[…] I love will be with me forever, that’s a given.  In week 1 – be an organ donor and week 2 – be a blood donor I share about what you can do now while you’re here – give blood and save a life, and […]

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