Day 344 of #LiveWell2017
It may not be a traditional holiday gift, but giving blood sure makes a difference. If you are healthy, not afraid of needles, and don’t mind giving an hour of your time and getting cookies and juice, then giving blood might be a good way for you to show others you care. I have an uncle who has given blood regularly for over 30 years – that adds up to lots of gallons. I have other family members who are alive today because they got blood transfusions.
The American Red Cross’s website lets you look up blood drives in your area. Just type in your zip code and find out where to give. Sometimes offices, schools, libraries, and other community places host blood drives.
How important can this gift be? The American Red Cross says:
- Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
- Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S.
- 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 pints.
- The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O.
- The blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event occurs.
- It is estimated that 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. Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.
- According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1.69 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2017. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
- A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.
Yikes! See how important it is to have blood on hand? If this sound like a gift idea you can get behind, then by all means do it. If not, no worries. There are lots of other ways to give.