January is National Blood Donor month. It's a chance to start off the new year in a positive and constructive way by thinking about helping others. It's hard to underscore just how important your …
January is National Blood Donor month. It's a chance to start off the new year in a positive and constructive way by thinking about helping others. It's hard to underscore just how important your blood donation can be for someone in need.
According to the American Red Cross, someone in the United Sates needs blood every two seconds. Blood donations are essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illness, and traumatic injuries. Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation.
By the numbers
The American Red Cross Association estimates that approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S. Beyond red blood cells, nearly 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma are needed daily in the U.S. Nearly 21 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S. The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 units. The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O. Sickle cell disease affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the U.S. About 1,000 babies are born with the disease each year, and Sickle cell patients can require blood transfusions throughout their lives.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1.8 million people were diagnosed with cancer in 2020. Many of them and others who will be diagnosed with a life threatening illness need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
The American Red Cross Association is responsible for providing about 40 percent of our nation's blood and blood components, all from generous volunteer donors. But that supply can't always meet demand because only about 3 percent of age-eligible people donate blood yearly. Each new donor helps.
There's many ways you can sign up to donate blood and blood components. Visit crmcny.org/services/ blood-bank for local information from Garnet Health Medical Center Catskills. You can also visit www.hudsonvalleycancer.org to find a blood drive happening near you.
The holidays can be a particularly difficult time for blood donation organizations due to inclement weather, busy schedules and seasonal illnesses.
But the demand for blood does not take holidays. Donating blood or blood components this month can help ensure we don't see a shortage for those who need it.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here