World Blood Donor Day: Your pint can save a life
Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion.
That’s an eye-opener for many of us. That’s why World Blood Donor Day is celebrated around the world on June 14th — to raise awareness about the importance of giving blood, and to thank donors for their life-saving gifts. It also encourages more people to donate blood voluntarily and regularly.
“With increasing life expectancy and the subsequent increase in the number of age-related, chronic diseases, including cancers, that require blood and blood products for treatment, demand outstrips supply,” says Dr Neelam Dhingra, Coordinator for Blood Transfusion Safety at World Health Organization (WHO), in a release. “In addition, some blood products used to treat cancer patients, like platelets, have a shelf-life of only five days. This means we increasingly need more blood donors to meet these demands.”
What to expect when donation
During the donation process you will sign in (have your ID in hand!); receive a short physical, which includes temperature, pulse, blood pressure; give away your blood (not all of it – a pint should do it), which takes about 8-10 minutes; then you are given a yummy snack (to get your blood glucose level back to normal).
Ready to give blood? Visit Redcrossblood.org for a blood drive near you.
Did you know….
- About 92 million blood donations are collected every year. Approximately half of these blood donations are collected in high-income countries, home to 15% of the world’s population;
- About 8,000 blood centers in 159 countries report on blood donations. Annual blood donations on average per blood center in high-income countries is 30,000 versus 3,700 in low-income countries; and
- National blood supplies are based almost entirely on voluntary unpaid blood donations in 62 countries: the WHO goal is for all countries to obtain all blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors by 2020.
* Source World Health Organization