This year September 5th is National Blood Donation Day. Blood banks all across America are holding drives to increase our nation’s blood supply.
Governors from nearly all states have proclaimed State Blood Donation Days to show their support.
Every two seconds, someone needs blood.
The American Red Cross provides these startling statistics:
- Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S.
- Nearly 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma are needed daily in the U.S.
- Nearly 21 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S.
- The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints.
- The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O.
- Sickle cell disease affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the U.S. About 1,000 babies are born with the disease each year. Sickle Cell patients can require blood transfusions throughout their lives.
- According to the American Cancer Society, about 1.7 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2017. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
- A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.
We wear red today to show our support.
To donate blood visit the following sites:
American Red Cross Blood Drive Locator
Donating blood is a simple process that takes less than 45 minutes. For those who cannot donate blood, hosting a drive can be just as life saving and easy to do. Blood banks can host a drive at work on site or through a bloodmobile in the parking lot, with no cost to the host.
National Blood Donation Week
Almost all of the United States have declared State Blood Donation Days to help combat our nation’s blood shortage as part of National Blood Donation Week (NBDW).
This year National Blood Donation Week is September 3-10th with September 5th being National Blood Donation Day.
The movement began in 2015 when Nationally Syndicated Radio Host, and local KDWN radio personality, asked Governor Brian Sandoval to proclaim Nevada Blood Donation Day to help fight the state’s blood shortage. The next year she took this movement national asking all governors to proclaim state blood donation days.
Governors in the following states have already proclaimed September 5th to be their state Blood Donation Day for 2018:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- more to come
Arizona has proclaimed September 3-10th Arizona Blood Donation Week with more to come.
Oklahoma has proclaimed the month of September Oklahoma Blood Donation Month.
Alaska proclaimed the month of July Alaska Blood Donation Month.
“Blood and platelet donations are currently being distributed to hospitals as fast as donations are coming in, and more donations are needed, especially type O, to replenish the blood supply,” said Laurie Nehring, communications director for the American Red Cross. “We appreciate Dr. Daliah’s efforts to educate the public about the importance of regular blood donations.”
Emergency rooms treating trauma victims, hospitals treating anemic patients, and medical clinics replenishing low blood levels in cancer patients require a steady supply of blood products.
38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood but less than 10% actually do.
“The unified effort across America to proclaim state blood donation days around the Labor Day holiday comes at an important time for patients,” said Mitzy Edgecomb, Blood Systems Vice President, Donor Marketing & Communication. “Blood donations often drop dramatically during the summer months and over holiday weeks when regular donors take time away to enjoy family vacations. We appreciate and applaud the governors from the multiple states who have called attention to the ongoing need for blood donations and thank those who step forward to make a life-transforming impact on others by giving blood.”
Donating blood is easy and takes less than one hour. Many places of work can hold blood drives so employees don’t have to take off work (plus you get yummy cookies).
Inconsistent donation patterns during the year result in unpredictable and reliable blood supply numbers, hence donation is requested year round.
United Blood Services suggests donating three times a year.
The summer and holiday season appear to be the “dryest” in terms of donations. States and regions frequently need to ship blood to areas who are in need.
Blood supplies have been critical in many parts of the country due to natural disasters such as storms and wildfires.
What makes NBDW so unique is that both Republican and Democratic governors are uniting and coming together for a common cause.
One pint of blood has the potential to save three lives. Imagine what the whole country can do!
For a list of Governor Proclamations visit here.
Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.
She is also a Board Certified Family Physician and Assistant Professor at Touro University Nevada