The need for blood donation is real
Published 2:09 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Do you know someone who had surgery, was involved in a traumatic accident, had a baby, or has undergone cancer treatments within the last year? If you answered yes, you likely know someone who depended on donated blood. Every two seconds, someone somewhere in the US needs blood or platelets. And if you have O-negative blood, your blood is in high demand because all blood types are compatible with yours.
As you may be aware, January is National Blood Donor Month, and as this community’s blood center, we’re asking you again for your help to get the word out about the importance of blood donation! January is historically challenging for blood collection as people return from vacation, and many fight seasonal illnesses.
In 628, William Harvey, a British physician, discovered blood circulation, and it was Jan Swammerdam who first observed red blood cells thirty years later. In 1665 physician Richard Lower successfully transfused from one dog to another. The first successful human blood transfusion to a patient with postpartum hemorrhage occurred in 1818. In 1901 Karl Landsteiner discovered the first three human blood groups, and cross-matching took place six years later.
It was in 1940 when the U.S. government established a national blood collection program. And just one year later, the Red Cross began to collect blood for the military. By 1948 the Red Cross opened its first civilian collection center in Rochester, NY. In 1970 the all-volunteer blood donor system was developed. Finally, 1985 saw the first tests to detect the antibody to HIV, with nucleic acid amplification testing for HIV and hepatitis C licensing coming into play by the FDA in 2002.
DID YOU KNOW:
- President Richard Nixon declared January National Blood Donor Month in 1969 to recognize loyal blood donors while encouraging others to consider donating during a historically difficult time for blood collection.
- Roughly 60% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, but only about 3% does. If every eligible individual donated blood just twice a year, there would never be concerns about the blood supply.
- One blood donation has the power to impact three lives right here in our community.
- TBC is encouraging community members to commit to donating blood three times in 2023!
- Locally, donors can find blood drives nearby and make an appointment by going to thebloodconnection.org/donate. Walk-ins are also welcome!
To donate blood, you must be in good health, at least 17 years old (16 years old with written parental consent), weigh 110 or more, have a valid ID with a permanent address, fifty-six days must have passed since your last donation, and no tattoos or piercings in the previous four months.
Immediately after you donate blood, you may feel lightheaded or dizzy and develop a bruise near the blood draw site. But all side effects are minimal and pass quickly. A typical donation is about one pint of blood. Within twenty-four hours, your body replenishes the lost fluid. It will take another four to six weeks for your body to regenerate the red blood cells.
About once a quarter (more frequently in times of emergency), we have a blood drive here at the hospital. Watch for announcements on our social media pages and the homepage of our website. Also, please consider liking our Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram pages if you do not follow us.
To learn more about the donation process, visit:
If you have a healthcare topic of interest or want to learn more about St. Luke’s Hospital, send me a note at Michelle.Fortune@slhnc.org. Also, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, or visit our website at StLukesNC.org.