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Questions about blood and blood donation

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Questions about blood and blood donation Why should I donate blood? People who donate blood make a vital contribution to the community. Patients in more than 140 Upper Midwest hospitals and in another hospitals around the country rely on Norht Central Blood Services to meet their needs. That�s why no matter how many units are collected at your bloodmobile, the unit that�s most important is the one you donate. The chances of knowing someone who has had a transfusion, or will need a transfusion sometime in the future are extremely high. Nearly all Americans reaching age 75 will need blood in their lifetime. Who qualifies to donate blood? Anyone who is at least 17 years of age, weighs at least 110 pounds, and is considered to be in good health may be eligible to donate. There is no upper age limit. A brief health history questionnaire is administered to each donor. There must be a window period of at least 56 days between donations, meaning a donor is eligible to give blood six times per year. What will the blood be used for? Hospital patients requring elective or emergency surgeries, or those requring transfusions for treatment of on-going illnesses, like cancer or leukemia. At North Central Blood Services, approximately 65 percent of the blood collected is redistributed to local hospitals in the region. Since the American Red Cross is a national blood banking system, some of the blood is sent to hospitals in other parts of the country facing blood shortages. ...read more.


Why does it seem like there is always a blood shortage? Though nearly 95 percent of us will require a blood transfusion at some point in our lifetime, only about 6 percent of eligible donors give blood on a regular basis. Given these facts, blood supply can barely keep up with demand. Additionally, blood donations nationally are decreasing at a rate of about 1 percent each year, while need is increasing at a rate of 1 percent annually. Why is type-O blood so important? About 41 percent of donors in the North Central Region have type-O blood, while 45 percent of the blood collected needs to be type-O to adequately meet hospital needs. People with O-negative blood are also called "universal" donors. This means people with type-O, type-A, type-AB can all receive type-O negative blood. In an emergency, when there is no time for routine typing and crossmatching, or if supplies are low of other types of blood, type O-negative may be transfused-- and a life might be saved. What should you do before donating? We want your donation experience to be pleasant. Please rebember: . Eat a well-balanced meal and increase fluid intake before you donate. . If possible, avoid aspirin 48 hours prior to donating. Taking aspirin will not keep you from donating, but the phlebotomist should be told prior to your donation. . Note name and dosage of any medication you are taking. Medications will not keep you from donating, but the reason for taking them might. ...read more.


Donated platelets expire after five days. Leukemia and transplant patient often needs platelet transfusions. Red Cells last 42 days and you can only donate every 56 days, therefore, the need for regular donors is vital. How much blood is donated each year and how much is used? Each unit of blood consists of a volume of 450 milliliters or about one pint. Because of the constant demand for blood, about 14 million units of blood are donated every year in the United States by about 8 million volunteer donors. This supply of blood is used by 4 million patients. Blood is given to accident victims, people undergoing surgery and patients with leukemia, cancer and other diseases. Where do individuals donate blood? There are several places where blood donations are given. Blood mobiles travel to places of employment, high schools, colleges, churches and community organizations. People can also donate blood at community blood centers and hospital-based donor centers. How often can blood be donated? People in good health who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate a unit of blood as often as every 8 weeks. Some states may further limit the number and/or frequency of donations in a 12-month period. What is autologous blood transfusion? Autologous (au-tol�-o-gous) blood transfusion is a procedure where you are transfused with blood that you have donated for yourself because of a specific need, such as upcoming elective surgery. How does it work? The autologous transfusion procedure consists of your blood being collected before surgery, stored and returned to you during or following surgery to replace the blood you have lost. ...read more.

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