One in 20 Americans will require a blood transfusion at some point in his or her life. The need for blood has increased due to numerous advances in medicine, a rapidly aging population, and a reduction in eligible donors. Please help us meet this need by donating! Remember to bring a picture ID!
Date is Friday, August 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Appoints are recommended. Walk-ins will be accepted if time permits.
To register, call the Fort Memorial Hospital laboratory at (920) 568-5261 or register online.
Facts about blood banking
According to the American Association of Blood Banks:
- About 40,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day (2006).
- The number of blood units donated is about 16 million a year (2006).
- There are approximately 9.5 million volunteer blood donors (2006).
- Each unit of blood is broken down into components, such as red blood cells, plasma, and platelets. One unit of whole blood, once it's separated, may be transfused to several patients, each with different needs.
Annually, more than 30 million blood components are transfused.
Who are the blood donors?
Most blood donors are volunteers. However, sometimes, a patient may want to donate blood a couple of weeks before undergoing surgery, so that his or her blood is available in case of a blood transfusion. Donating blood for yourself is called an autologous donation. Volunteer blood donors must pass certain criteria, including the following:
- Must be at least 16 to 17 years of age
- Must be in good health
- Must weigh at least 110 pounds
- Must pass the physical and health history examination given prior to donation
Some states permit persons younger than 16 or 17 years to donate blood, with parental consent.
What tests are performed in blood banking?
A certain set of standard tests are performed in the laboratory once blood is donated, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Typing: ABO group (blood type)
- Rh typing (positive or negative antigen)
- Screening for any unexpected red blood cell antibodies that may cause problems in the recipient
- Screening for current or past infections, including:
- Hepatitis viruses B and C
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Human T-lymphotropic viruses (HTLV) I and II
- West Nile virus
Irradiation to blood cells is performed to disable any T-lymphocytes present in the donated blood. (T-lymphocytes can cause a reaction when transfused, but can also cause what is called "graft-versus-host" problems with repeated exposure to foreign cells.)
"Leukocyte-reduced blood" has been filtered to remove the white blood cells which contain antibodies that can cause fevers in the recipient of the transfusion. (These antibodies, with repeated transfusions, may also increase a recipient's risk of reactions to subsequent transfusions.)
What are the blood types?
According to the American Association of Blood Banks, distribution of blood types in the U.S. includes the following:
- O positive - 39 percent
- A positive - 31 percent
- B positive - 9 percent
- O negative - 9 percent
- A negative - 6 percent
- AB positive - 3 percent
- B negative - 2 percent
- AB negative - 1 percent