January – National Volunteer Blood Donor Month Week FourBy Karen Rhodenizer • Published: January 24th, 2011
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
Ever stop to think about your community blood supply? Maybe you should, because your community blood supply is pulsing all around you. In local hospitals, in blood centers, and in some of the people near you whose lives were saved because of blood donors… people like you.
January is National Blood Donor Month so this is a good time to think about what a community blood really is… a lifeline for you, your family and your neighbors and friends. People don’t receive a blood transfusion unless their life depends on it and, in the United States, every two seconds someone’s does.
Most people know that transfusions are needed for people who lose blood due to trauma injuries or surgery. What some people don’t realize is that transfusions can play a critical role in helping cancer and burn patients survive. Other patients require transfusions as part of lifelong therapy to treat inherited blood disorders. And sometimes the smallest patients, premature babies and newborns, need blood too.
Although researchers are trying to create a functional, synthetic blood that can carry oxygen in and waste components out of our bodies, so far nothing is as effective as Mother Nature. For now, the community blood supply still depends on healthy people who are willing to give.
Blood needs to be donated, tested, processed, transported and ready on a hospital’s shelves before it is needed. It takes about seventy-two hours to make a donated unit of blood available for a patient. So don’t wait to give until someone you love or know needs blood. Please give blood today.
To find out where to donate in your community, or for more information about giving blood and how it is used, please visit the AABB’s web site at www.aabb.org.