- Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
- More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.
- A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S.
- The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints.
- The blood type most often requested by hospitals is Type O.
- The blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event occurs.
- Sickle cell disease affects more than 70,000 people in the U.S. About 1,000 babies are born with the disease each year. Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.
- More than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer last year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
- A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.
- The number of blood donations collected in the U.S. in a year: 15.7 million
- The number of blood donors in the U.S. in a year: 9.2 million
- Although an estimated 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, less than 10% actually do each year.
- Blood cannot be manufactured – it can only come from generous donors.
- Type O-negative blood (red cells) can be transfused to patients of all blood types. It is always in great demand and often in short supply.
- Type AB-positive plasma can be transfused to patients of all other blood types. AB plasma is also usually in short supply.
Blood Donation Process
- Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded.
- Blood donation is a simple four-step process: registration, medical history and mini-physical, donation and refreshments.
- Every blood donor is given a mini-physical, checking the donor’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin to ensure it is safe for the donor to give blood.
- The actual blood donation typically takes less than 10-12 minutes. The entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, takes about an hour and 15 min.
- The average adult has about 10 pints of blood in his body. Roughly 1 pint is given during a donation.
- A healthy donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days, or double red cells every 112 days.
- A healthy donor may donate platelets as few as 7 days apart, but a maximum of 24 times a year.
- All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases before it can be released to hospitals.
- Information you give to the American Red Cross during the donation process is confidential. It may not be released without your permission except as directed by law.
- There are four types of transfusable products that can be derived from blood: red cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate. Typically, two or three of these are produced from a pint of donated whole blood – hence each donation can help save up to three lives.
- Donors can give either whole blood or specific blood components only. The process of donating specific blood components – red cells, plasma or platelets – is called apheresis.
- One transfusion dose of platelets can be obtained through one apheresis donation of platelets or by combining the platelets derived from five whole blood donations.
- Most donated red blood cells must be used within 42 days of collection.
- Donated platelets must be used within five days of collection – new donations are constantly needed.
- Plasma and cryoprecipitate are stored in frozen state and can be used for up to one year after collection.
- Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets. The body will replenish the elements given during a blood donation – some in a matter of hours and others in a matter of weeks.
- The number one reason donors say they give blood is because they “want to help others.”
- Two most common reasons cited by people who don’t give blood are: “Never thought about it” and “I don’t like needles.”
- One donation can help save the lives of up to three people.
- If you began donating blood at age 17 and donated every 56 days until you reached 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood, potentially helping save more than 1,000 lives!
- Half of Red Cross donors male, and half are female.
- The American Red Cross accepts blood donations only from volunteer donors.
- Among Red Cross donors in a given year, 19 percent donate occasionally, 31 percent are first-time donors, and 50 percent are regular, loyal donors.
- Only 7 percent of people in the U.S. have O-negative blood type. O-negative blood type donors are universal donors as their blood can be given to people of all blood types.
- Type O-negative blood is needed in emergencies before the patient’s blood type is known and with newborns who need blood.
- Forty-five percent of people in the U.S. have Type O (positive or negative) blood. This percentage is higher among Hispanics – 57 percent, and among African Americans – 51 percent.
- Only 3 percent of people in the U.S. have AB-positive blood type. AB-positive type blood donors are universal donors of plasma, which is often used in emergencies, for newborns and for patients requiring massive transfusions.
Red Cross National Facts:
5.6 million blood donations are collected by the Red Cross each year.
Roughly 3.3 million generous volunteer blood donors roll up a sleeve each year.
More than 8 million transfusable blood products are distributed each year thanks to the generous donations.
Patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers around the country receive Red Cross blood products.
This week for Red Cross month we will highlight the Red Cross Blood services department, staff, and volunteers. Red Cross and blood go hand in hand. After World War II, the Red Cross introduced the first nationwide civilian blood program that now supplies more than 40 percent of the blood and blood products in this country. During the 1990s, we engineered a massive modernization of our blood services operations to improve the safety of our blood products.
Our blood donors are ordinary people – high school students, factory and office workers, business executives, parents and grandparents, and people from every walk of life. But they share one thing – a generous spirit, a desire to give back to their community and help others. Blood donors play an integral role in the delivery of modern healthcare. Many lifesaving medical treatments and procedures involve blood transfusions and would not be possible without a safe and reliable blood supply.
The Red Cross is also a leader in research and testing to protect the safety of the blood supply. Red Cross was among the first to develop and implement testing for many infectious diseases including, HIV, hepatitis B and C viruses, West Nile virus, and more recently the agent of Chagas disease.
If you already donate blood, thank you! You are making a lifesaving contribution that benefits accident victims, cancer patients, surgical candidates, children with blood disorders and many others. If you have never donated blood, please consider doing so. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. We invite donors to make an appointment today by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting www.redcrossblood.org.
March is Red Cross Month and we are recognizing the country’s everyday heroes who reach out to help their neighbors when they are in need. These everyday heroes lend a hand in communities across the country. They help disaster victims get on the road to recovery. They give blood to help a hospital patient. They brighten the day of an injured service member who is in a hospital far from home. They step forward to assist someone having a heart attack or to save a drowning child. This March, during Red Cross Month, we’re encouraging everyone to discover their inner hero by giving time to help a neighbor, become a Red Cross volunteer, make a financial or blood donation or take a Red Cross class in First Aid and CPR.
Throughout the month of March we will highlight different Red Cross Services to show you how the Red Cross touches your community and beyond. We will share stories of everyday heroes and give you the tools and resources to become one yourself. While March is Red Cross month, every single day of the year our staff, volunteers, and sponsors support our mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.
The first Red Cross Month was established in 1943 after being declared by Franklin D. Roosevelt. We have come a long way since then, and we look forward to continuing to make an impact with your support.
“I request that during that March our people rededicate themselves to the splendid aims and activities of the Red Cross.”–President Franklin D. Roosevelt, first Presidential Proclamation of March as Red Cross Month, 1943
1. Designate a donation for Red Cross WI Disaster Relief on your 2013 Wisconsin state income tax form. Individuals write in their donation amount on Line 36i of the Wisconsin Tax form.
2. Tell a few family members and friends!
The Red Cross in Wisconsin responds to nearly 1,000 disasters locally each year, and deploys volunteers and staff to assist with larger scale disaster relief efforts in other states when needed. Locally, we provide immediate, short-term disaster relief assistance to victims of disaster and emergencies such as house and apartment fires, natural disasters, mass transit accidents, hazardous material incidents and community emergencies.
By making a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief on your Wisconsin income tax form, you’ll help individuals affected by disaster with valuable emergency resources and recovery plans, which is estimated at $480 per family. Disaster Action Team volunteers work with families affected by disaster to meet their emergency needs by providing; shelter, food, toiletry items, medicine replacement, disaster counseling, health services, referrals to community organizations and additional transitional support on an as needed basis.
Every dollar donated for Red Cross WI Disaster Relief through the Wisconsin state income tax form stays in Wisconsin.
LaCrosse, WI, February 1, 2014 — Sylvia Allen, American Red Cross Volunteer of the Month for February 2014, called the Red Cross to volunteer on September 12, 2001. As retired chemists, Sylvia and her late husband, John, thought they might be able to help after the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. They started volunteering in Blood Services where Sylvia continues to volunteer with the Community Blood Drive.
After Hurricane Katrina struck, Sylvia volunteered for Disaster Services. She and John were trained and arrived in Baton Rouge, LA one week later for three exhausting and satisfying weeks of volunteering. After returning home, they received additional training and became local disaster responders; helping people who suffer local disasters like home fires.
‘Sylvia is my right hand lady,’ according to Red Cross staff member Melisa Myers. ‘She makes time to help with just about any task, has taken extra training to help fill in when we needed help, and helps in multiple departments. No job is too small or big for Sylvia.’
When the Red Cross transitioned to a new computerized volunteer database, Sylvia took extra training to facilitate a smooth transfer of records. She also takes shifts as a deployment officer, covering holidays and weekends, so the right volunteers are sent to national disasters at the right time. Melisa also noted that tasks are done on time with all details covered.
‘Sylvia has stood by the Red Cross and the mission through thick and thin.’ Melisa stated, ‘She is an outstanding volunteer who continues to grow and develop.’
Sylvia remembers one time she was helping distribute relief supplies in a shopping mall in Louisiana on a VERY hot day. ‘After a long wait, a woman in the line stepped up to get the offered supplies, thanked us, and then noted that I did not sound like I was from Louisiana. When I told her there were volunteers from 15 states, she was totally overwhelmed that we had come from so far and were not getting paid to be there. I will not soon forget her look of surprise and gratitude.’
Sylvia noted, ‘If you want to help others when they are having one of the worst days of their life, meet and work with wonderful people, and feel really good about being tired at the end of the day…the American Red Cross is a great group to volunteer with!’
An estimated 890 lives could be saved each year if all homes had working smoke alarms. Sixty-five percent of reported home fire deaths in 2004 occurred in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. The fire death rate in homes with working smoke alarms is 51% less than the rate for homes without this protection. These are real numbers and there are people behind these numbers. I could throw numbers at you all day, but the fact is smoke alarms SAVE LIVES.
Installing smoke alarms is easy and cheap. They are essential in keeping your family safe from fire danger. If you do not have one in every bedroom of your house and on every level, change it today.
- Place a smoke alarm on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas. If you keep bedroom doors shut, place a smoke alarm in each bedroom.
- Smoke alarms should be tested monthly and batteries replaced yearly, or as soon as you hear a low-battery warning which usually sounds like a “chirping” noise.
- Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear it.
- Keep smoke alarms clean by vacuuming over and around it regularly. Dust and debris can interfere with its operation.
-Install smoke alarms away from windows, doors, or ducts that can interfere with their operation.
-Never remove the battery from or disable a smoke alarm. If your smoke alarm is sounding “nuisance alarms”, try locating it further from kitchens or bathrooms.
- Plan regular fire drills to practice your escape plan ensuring everyone in your home knows exactly what to do when the smoke alarm sounds.
-Smoke alarms wear out. Replace your alarms every 10 years. If you can’t remember when you last replaced them, buy new alarms that are interconnected if possible. Install them using manufacturer’s instructions and hire an electrician for installing alarms that are hard-wired into your home’s electrical