What is Blood?
Whole blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. All but plasma are made in the marrow of bones, especially the vertebrae, ribs, hips, skull and sternum; these essential blood cells fight infection, carry oxygen and help control bleeding. Everyone’s blood falls into one of four types. Blood types are an inherited trait.
Someone needs a blood transfusion every two seconds, and one in ten patients entering a hospital will need blood. Over 500 people need to donate every day to meet the daily needs of the hospitals we serve and be prepared for emergencies. In order to collect the units needed, The Blood Connection must screen between 550-600 people a day for blood, platelet, plasma and double red cell units. Blood is good for only 42 days, so donors are needed every day to ensure a stable blood supply.
Learn more about how important YOUR blood type is
MORE THAN 15 MILLION
pints of blood are transfused in the U.S. each year.
Red blood cells can be stored
FOR ONLY 42 DAYS
EVERY 2 SECONDS
someone in the U.S. needs blood.
LESS THAN 10%
of the population donates blood.
The Blood Supply
African-Americans make up 19.3% of the population within our area; however, only 7.5% donate blood. There are some rare blood antigens unique to African-Americans, and it’s difficult to find compatible blood types for some patients - often the best match is blood that comes from another African-American donor. The Blood Connection encourages African-Americans to donate regularly.
What is Sickle Cell Disease?
Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder that causes the red blood cells to become sickle shaped, preventing them from circulating to parts of the body, resulting in anemia. African-Americans with sickle cell, cancer, and kidney disease are less likely to have reactions to blood donated by other African-Americans.
Blood is the most commonly tested part of the body, and it is truly the river of life. Every cell in the body gets its nutrients from blood. Understanding blood will help you as your doctor explains the results of your blood tests.