Each year on June 14, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day. Sponsored by the World Health Organization, the event raises awareness of the need for safe blood and acknowledges the importance of this life-saving gift from voluntary donors.
This year’s slogan is “give blood and keep the world beating.” And the focus for the 2021 campaign is the increasingly important role of young people becoming blood donors to ensure a safe blood supply.
According to the Red Cross, blood is needed every two seconds. Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells, 7,000 units of platelets, and 10,000 units of plasma are needed every day in the U.S. Nearly 21 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S. At the same time, only 37 percent of our country's population is eligible to give blood, and less than 10 percent of those who can donate actually do donate annually.
Blood is the most precious gift you can give another person because it’s the gift of life. While you may have given blood in the past, you may not be aware of how it is used. Donated blood is broken down into a variety of life-saving products. Here are some of the people and important procedures that rely on blood donations:
- Cancer patients need platelet donations because certain cancers and cancer treatments prevent them from producing their own. Cancer patients may also need blood during their chemotherapy treatment.
- Trauma and burn patients need blood to maintain blood pressure and other vital functions. A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood.
- Sickle cell disease affects up to 100,000 people in the U.S. and to remain healthy, some patients may require blood transfusions throughout their lives.
- Women with complications of pregnancy may need blood.
- Children with severe anemia due to malaria or malnutrition need blood.
Blood and platelets cannot be manufactured; they can only come from volunteer donors. A single donation can potentially save as many as three people.
Healthcare professionals, such as medical assistants, collect the blood that helps save lives. If you’re considering a career in this critical role, a Fortis education can help you get started on that path. Click here for more information or call us today at (855) 436-7847 and speak to one of our career counselors.