Patients can’t afford for you or donors to lose interest in the mission of saving lives.
Shortages can cause surgeries to be postponed and those who get regular blood products not to receive at normal frequency. Our region supplies approximately 100 hospitals and needs 600 donors each day to meet the demands.
Below are top 10 reasons to donate.
1. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood, requiring more than 38,000 units per day. 600 of those are needed in the Alabama & Central Gulf Coast region as we service approximately 100 hospitals including UAB. 99.9% of the blood collected regionally is used by regional patients.
2. Sickle Cell affects more than 80,000 people in the U.S., 98% of whom are African American. More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Both these patients require blood.
3. Although approximately 38 percent of the region’s population is eligible to donate, only about 8 percent actually give blood. One donation can save up to three lives.
4. Type O Neg can be transfused to anyone but can only receive O Neg blood. O Neg is often used in emergency situations and with newborns so it must be replenished for O Neg ONLY recipients.
5. Donating is a safe process. A sterile needed is used only once for each donor and then discarded. Donors are given a mini physical to ensure the health and safety of the donor and recipient. Donors are also given post donation instructions and a toll free number to call with any question/concern.
6. Blood has a shelf life of about 42 days so new donations are constantly needed.
Blood products are available to be shipped 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
7. A dozen tests for infectious diseases are performed on each unit. If positive, the unit is discarded and the donor is notified. Test results are confidential, except as required by law.
8. The average adult has about 10 pints of blood in the body. Only one pint is taken during donation. Plasma is replaced within 24 hours. Red cells need about 4-6 weeks. Eligibility is every 56 days.
9. The ALYX machine collects double the red cells (most needed blood component) but returns most of the plasma and platelets along with a saline solution to the donor. A smaller needle is used and donors may even feel more hydrated afterwards. This donation will count twice toward saving lives.
10. The Alabama & Central Gulf Coast Region imports 1000 units per month because we don’t collect enough blood to meet patient needs. However, due to depressed blood collections across the American Red Cross system those regularly scheduled life saving imports are no longer available.
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