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5 reasons you should consider donating blood for World Blood Donor Day

5 reasons you should consider donating blood for World Blood Donor Day

How often do you get the chance to do something that’s truly lifesaving? Seize the opportunity by donating blood this month in honor of World Blood Donor Day!

World Blood Donor Day is celebrated each year on June 14. The awareness day was established in 2005 by the World Health Assembly to celebrate and thank volunteer blood donors. Each year the event has a slightly different theme to raise awareness about the need for blood donations.

At any given time, the demand for blood is usually greater than the amount of blood being donated. That can lead to serious blood shortages, such as the one we experienced here in Louisiana earlier this year.

Donating blood takes a small amount of your time and can make a big impact. Keep reading to learn more about why blood donations are needed to save lives.

Why you should consider donating blood

Need another reason to give blood? We have five of them for you:

  1. Voluntary blood donation saves lives. According to the Red Cross, someone in the U.S. needs blood or platelets every two seconds. When you donate, you may truly be giving the gift of life to someone in need.
  2. The need outweighs current donations. It’s challenging for blood banks across the country to maintain an adequate supply of blood. That’s because many people in need of timely access to safe blood require a significant amount. Consider that someone in a car accident may need up to 100 units of blood.
  3. There’s no such thing as synthetic blood or platelets. Volunteer blood donors are the sole supplier of blood and platelets, which can’t be manufactured or produced in any way.
  4. Not enough people currently donate. Of people in good health and eligible to donate, only 3% of them donate blood yearly. Every new donor makes a difference.
  5. Many different people benefit from blood donation. Blood and platelets are used in treating many different medical conditions and situations, including traumatic injuries, cancer, transplant (organ, bone marrow and stem cell) and blood disorders such as sickle cell disease. In fact, some patients require regular transfusions, such as cancer patients during chemotherapy and bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients during their treatment and recovery.

How to donate and who can donate

Donating blood is easy! If you’re ready to donate, look for a blood drive or a blood donation center near you, such as the one at East Jefferson General Hospital. Many people are eligible to donate blood, but there are some basic requirements for each type of donation.

To donate whole blood, from which multiple blood components are made such as red blood cells and fresh frozen plasma, you:

  • Must be in good health and feeling well
  • Must be at least 17
  • Must weigh at least 110 pounds

Whole blood can be donated every 56 days, up to six times each year. Whole blood donation takes about 45 minutes to an hour.

To donate platelets, you:

  • Must be in good health and feeling well
  • Must be at least 17
  • Must weigh at least 110 pounds

Platelets can be donated every seven days, up to 24 times per year. Platelet donation takes between one and a half and two hours.

Want to donate blood? Donating is easy at the East Jefferson General Hospital blood donation center. Make an appointment by calling 504.503.5691 or stop in!