Blood circulates throughout the entire body and helps maintain life. Oxygen, nutrients, heat, hormones, and electrolytes are transported to body tissues by the blood. It is also responsible for carrying waste and carbon dioxide away from tissues. Blood is comprised of platelets, plasma, white blood cells, and red blood cells. In the United States, more than twenty million transfusions of donated blood are given every year. Since blood cannot be stored for a long time, an active, large donor pool is required to maintain a sufficient blood supply for transfusions.
Many patients need blood transfusions as a treatment for anemia. Donated blood is also used as a kidney disease treatment. Many cancer patients will require blood transfusions as part of their treatment for cancer. Some women giving birth will need some donated blood. It is also a common part of many surgeries, and surgery for severe injuries, including trauma from a car accident, is quite common. Of course, potential donors must understand all aspects of blood donation beforehand.
Importance Of Donating Blood
In the United States, only thirty-seven percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, and less than ten percent of eligible donors choose to donate. Blood cannot be manufactured, which means that donation is the only method of providing blood that can be used in transfusions for patients in need. On average, someone in the United States will need a blood transfusion every two seconds. The Red Cross states that someone will require platelets approximately every fifteen seconds. A single donation could save the lives of up to three individuals. In addition, blood supply does not last for too long, which is why donating blood regularly is vital. Reports show that platelets must be used within five days of donation and red blood cells within forty-two days.
Get more information on the health benefits of donating blood next.