Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. The American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) estimates an average of 23 million units of blood components are transfused into patients annually in the U.S. Blood is a life force that travels from one individual to another, safely and efficiently, sustaining life in our own community.
The “gift of life” represented by a pint of whole blood or a unit of platelets or plasma collected from a donor – is the beginning of a rigorous process that vitally impacts people with critical injuries or serious diseases like cancer, heart disease and sickle cell anemia. Every day, hundreds of these units are processed, tested, and stored before reaching recipients in need, and the journey is fascinating. From donor to recipient, the journey of blood from one citizen to another could not begin without a call to action.
Recent studies have found that only 37 percent of the U. S. population is eligible to donate blood, and less than 10% are actively engaged in doing so each year. At The Blood Connection and other American not-for-profit blood centers, hard-working, diligent donor-recruitment staffs reach out to blood drive sponsors and to individuals asking for support of community blood programs. Help in this effort comes from enthusiastic participation from media outlets (which assist in “spreading the word”) and from businesses (which often provide discount coupons or other welcome forms of gratitude for blood donations). Because of these marketing and public relations efforts, citizens become aware of the need for blood in the community and become regular and frequent volunteer blood donors. The Blood Connection goal is to collect over 100,000 plasma, platelets and whole blood donations per year.