Blood donation is needed all year round. Learn more about the basics of donating blood if you want to help save lives!
Blood donation is always needed. It’s something you can do to help save lives once every 56 days. If you’re considering donating blood for the first time or after a long period without giving, learn why it’s important and what else you need to know about this process.
- Why should people consider donating blood?
There is a multitude of reasons people should donate blood. Some factual reasons include: “every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, one donation can potentially save three lives, and blood and platelets cannot be manufactured,” according to the American Red Cross. Without generous blood donors, human lives are in jeopardy. Blood donation affects the very young, the very old, and every age in between. Blood donors have the opportunity to help save the lives of children suffering from cancer, trauma victims, burn victims, surgical patients, and those suffering from genetic or illness-induced blood dyscrasias (diseases or disorders). The good news is that healthy individuals continuously reproduce new blood cells. The body has the incredible capacity to detect when you need to produce more, and miraculously, for those without certain health concerns, it does.
- What blood types are most needed?
All blood types are needed, but blood type does discriminate. If a person is Rh-negative, they can only receive Rh-negative blood. However, a person with Rh-positive blood can receive Rh-positive and/or Rh-negative blood. AB-positive is considered the universal recipient. So, individuals with type AB-positive blood are extraordinarily blessed because they can receive any blood type. However, those individuals with type O-negative are not so blessed. O-negative is considered the universal donor, indicating that anyone may receive their blood type, but they can only receive O-negative. Therefore, when tragedy strikes with no time for typing and crossing blood, health care professionals reach for the O-negative on the shelf, creating a vital and continual need for O-negative donors
- Are there particular times of year when blood donations are most needed?
Blood donation is needed year round. Often around the holidays, the need increases due to decreased donations prior to the holidays and increased travel. However, tragedy can strike at any moment, so donors should listen to the local news and pay attention when the American Red Cross announces urgent or emergent needs. The best way to help is for eligible donors to donate as often as possible so that, when the need arises, the supply meets the demand.