Blood is essential for life. It carries oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, fights infections, and helps heal wounds. Everyone has this self-generating resource that can be generously given to others-when and where it is needed most.
June 14th is a day for world blood donor day. Over 81 million blood donations are made every year to help millions of lives. This day is set aside to raise awareness of the world’s need for safe blood, to pay tribute to those who have sacrificially donated their own blood for the benefit of others. There are 107 million people donate their blood every year, 65% blood transfusions in low income countries are given to children under five years of age and 2020 is the target year for all countries to obtain 100% of blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors.
Why donate blood:
The most important reason for becoming a regular blood donor is to meet the blood needs of our community. There is no substitute for human blood; donors are the only source. Every two seconds, someone needs blood, and an adequate blood supply is crucial to their survival. Remember, just one pint of your blood can save as many as four lives.
The demand for blood continues to increase, yet only 5% of the population donates
- If you began donating blood at age 16 and donated every 56 days until you reached 76, you would have donated over 48 gallons of blood, potentially saving over 1,100 lives! Every time you donate, you help save the lives of as many as 3 people in need.
- Your investment of time and your gift as a volunteer blood donor deliver the greatest possible return. Donating blood takes about one hour, including a mini-physical and health interview. Within about 10 days, your blood will have already reached someone in need. Where else can you volunteer one hour of time and save up to three lives.
- Free mini-medical checkup: Before donating blood donors are asked for a brief health history and tested for basic physical health. You have the chance to find out if your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, cholesterol and hemoglobin levels and other vital signs are healthy or not. If you are found eligible to donate blood, you are allowed to give blood every 56 days, so it means that you can also get a completely free physical examination three to six times a year. Donating blood is also a fast and safe way of losing weight because you burn 650 calories every time you do this.
- Decrease cancer risk:  Regular blood donation is associated with lowered risks for cancer including lung, colon, liver, throat and stomach cancers. So if you want to help lower your risk of cancer,donate blood regularly.
- Reduce risk of heart attack: There are no conclusive evidence for this study yet, but several physicians have noted that blood donors have less cases of heart diseases than non-donors . Donating blood improves cardiovascular health. Who donate blood regularly over the years have an 88% lower risk of heart attack and a 33% lower risk of any severe cardiovascular event.
- Replenish Blood: You know the old adage “Some things must go first so better things can come”? This is very much true for blood. When you give a pint, your body immediately starts to replenish the lost blood. Some people worry that if they donated blood, they could lose so much blood and that it may be unhealthy for them. That’s a myth! The truth is, you are helping your body function more efficiently by letting go of some blood. Your body replaces the blood volume within 48 hours of donation, and all of the red blood cells you lose during the process are replaced within 4-8 weeks.
- There are four types of transfusable products that can be derived from a pint of whole blood: red cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate. As each pint of donated whole blood is separated into two or three of these products, each donation can help save up to three lives.
- More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
- At least 500 pints of blood must be collected every day to meet the needs of area patients.
So blood is vital to life and for many people blood donors are their lifeline. Currently only 1in 30 people give blood, but 1in 3 people will need blood in their lifetime.
Modern processing techniques mean that a single blood donation, when separated into its components, can help at least 3 different patients and contribute to making up to 22 different products.
- Miller-Keystone Blood Center.
- The Florida Blood Services reports.
- World Health Organization(WHO).