Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. And while many donate blood frequently, there hasn’t been enough supply to meet demand.
But why should you donate blood, if you are able?
You can save a life
Donating blood is an easy, selfless way to help others. People with all kinds of health issues need blood for a variety of reasons. Some examples include:
- Cancer patients who cannot produce platelets due to treatment
- Trauma patients suffering blood loss
- Patients undergoing heart surgery and organ transplants
- Sickle cell patients, who require frequent transfusions
- Burn patients, needing plasma to help maintain blood pressure
- Patients with chronic diseases
There’s an urgent need for blood donors
Unfortunately, there has been a consistent shortage of blood donations across the nation. At the time this blog was written, the American Red Cross has issued an emergency need for blood donors. A blood shortage can lead to delays in providing medical care to patients, which in many cases is lifesaving. There is a particular need for Type O blood, which is often in high demand.
You may have a rare blood type
There are eight common blood types, but many more rare blood types. For a safe transfusion, there are very specific ways in which blood types much be matched. For example, someone with Type O blood can donate to all other blood types. However, they can only receive Type O blood.
To donate blood, you can find a Blood Drive near you on the American Red Cross website. Additionally, many of our hospitals host blood drives regularly, and usually announce them on Facebook.
If you haven’t donated blood before, check out these common concerns for first-time donors.