Only 38% of People Can Perform This Lifesaving Act. Are You One of Them?

Blood-DonationChances are you know (or are) someone whose life has been saved or improved by blood donation. Each year millions of Americans donate blood and 40,000 pints of blood are used every day in the United States – but more is needed. If you are among the 38 percent of Americans who can give blood, take the few minutes out of your schedule to donate.

Blood donation only takes a little of your time and none of your money – but it may be the difference between life and death for someone else.

“If you donate one pint of blood every 56 days (the minimum time between whole blood donations), in one year you will have donated six pints of blood and approximately six hours of your time,” said Jessica Becker, donor relations consultant, Central Illinois Community Blood Center.

“For six pints and six hours of time, at the end of the year your donation will have saved or helped the lives of as many as 18 people. When a unit of whole blood is donated, it is separated into red cells, platelets and plasma to get the right type and right product to the right patient.”

Memorial Medical Center is one of many hospitals that benefit from local blood donations.

“Accident victims, cancer patients and many other kinds of patients need blood transfusions,” said Linda Jones, DNS, RN, and vice president of operations at Memorial Health System. “Blood can’t be ‘manufactured’ – the only way we can get it is through generous individuals who donate.”

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. Becker says that while all donors are valuable, you’re especially golden if you have O-negative blood or AB plasma running through your veins because you are a universal donor.

Type O-negative blood (only about 9 percent of the population) and AB plasma (3 percent of the population) is often kept for emergencies to be given before a blood type is known. These blood products are in constant demand.

Because an adequate supply of blood is crucial to patient care, Memorial Medical Center hosts a blood drive on its campus several times throughout the year for the Central Illinois Community Blood Center. Employees and the public are encouraged to donate.