Blood donations provide an excellent way for the public to help others, advance medical research, and save lives in emergency scenarios. Many people are aware of the charitable effects of donating blood, as about 14 million units of blood each year are donated. If you’re still unsure about giving blood, learning about how donations work, who needs blood the most, and how it benefits you can help you make the decision to donate blood, considering donating again, or become a regular at your local donation center.
Donating Your Blood Saves Lives
Donating blood makes a difference, and the biggest reason to donate blood is that it saves lives. There is always a huge and constant demand for blood because there is no substitute. Blood provides a vital function for our bodies, carrying oxygen to our cells to provide us with the energy we need to perform. Because of how essential our blood is to our bodies, mimicking the effects of human blood with substitutes presents huge safety risks, which is why there are no FDA-approved blood substitutes out in the market yet.
So, why is there so much blood needed? According to organizations such as the FDA and American Red Cross, blood is required for many people in various situations, including:
- Car Accident Victims
- Victims of Fires and Emergencies
- Cancer Patients
- Organ Transplants
- Blood Disorders
- Chronic Diseases
- Pregnant Women
- Premature Babies
When these scenarios arrive, blood donations can play a huge part in helping people recover and manage the conditions they face. Often, blood transfusions are crucial in medical care, as it helps thousands of people suffering from traumatic injuries and undergoing surgeries.
How Blood Donations Work To Benefit Others
Those considering blood donations have many options to choose from, as different blood, components can benefit others for various diseases and conditions. These include:
- Whole Blood: Whole blood includes all the various components that makeup up and is considered the easiest form of donation that can be made.
- Power Red: Power red, or red blood cells, help carry oxygen to the lungs.
- Platelets: Blood platelets work to help form clots and assist in the healing process for various injuries.
- Plasma: Blood plasma carries the proteins, electrolytes, and immunoglobulins essential for body functions such as waste transportation and body temperature regulation.
Blood donations have eligibility requirements listed by the American Red Cross. These eligibility requirements also include regulations regarding Covid-19 vaccinations and other safety measures. Studies have shown that a small fraction of potential donors give their blood to those with rarer blood types. Specific groups often have more demand for blood types such as the AB plasma type because of how ideal they are for those with sickle cell disease and other blood diseases. Learning from your local faction about your blood donation requirements can be an excellent way to see if you are a good candidate.