General Blood Info
- Blood makes up about 7% of your body's weight.
- A newborn baby has about one cup (8 ounces) of blood in his or her body.
- There are four main blood types: A, B, AB and O. AB is the “universal recipient” and O negative is the “universal donor”.
- Shortages of all types of blood donations most often occur during summer and winter holidays.
- Giving blood will not decrease your strength.
- You cannot get AIDS or any other infectious disease by donating blood.
The Need for Blood
- More than 4.5 million patients need life-saving blood transfusions each year in the U.S. and Canada
- 43,000 pints of donated blood are used each day in the U.S. and Canada.
- Every two seconds, someone needs blood
- On average, one out of every 7 people entering the hospital will need blood.
- Blood banks often run short of type O and B blood.
- The average red-cell transfusion amounts to 2.7 pints.
Reasons People Need Blood
- Heart and blood vessel disease
- Diseases of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract
- Emergencies (accidental injuries, burns, etc.)
- Blood is composed of four main components: Red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma.
- Blood cells are produced in the bone marrow. Vertebrae, ribs, pelvis, skull, and sternum are especially productive cell factories.
- A pint of donated blood is separated in the lab into components to be transfused individually based on need.
Red Blood Cells
- Disc-shaped cells that contain iron-rich hemoglobin that delivers oxygen throughout the body.
- Characteristic red color comes from hemoglobin.
- Can be stored for 42 days after donation.
White Blood Cells
- Larger than red blood cells and can leave the blood stream to reach other tissues.
- Function as part of the immune system by attacking foreign cells and particles.
- Small, irregular cells that help control bleeding.
- Form clusters to plug small holes in blood vessels and help clotting process.
- Can be stored for only 5 days after donation.
- A pale yellow mixture of water, proteins, and salts that makes up the liquid portion of the blood.
- Circulates the other cells as well as nutrients, enzymes, and hormones.
- Can be frozen and stored up to a year after donation.