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Mercy Medical Center Names Dr. Mark Dumais Chief Medical Officer
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  • A Quick Way to Save a Life – With Need for Blood Constant, It’s Always a Good Time to Donate


    The American Red Cross promotes blood donation year-round, but National Blood Donor Month provides an additional opportunity for awareness during a time of the year when donation levels are often low. Here are some facts about blood needs and supply.

    • Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.
    • Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells, nearly 7,000 units of platelets, and 10,000 units of plasma are needed daily in the U.S.
    • The blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event occurs.
    • It is estimated that 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 frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.
    • According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1.69 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.
    • About 6.8 million Americans donate blood each year. Although an estimated 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood at any given time, fewer than 10% of that eligible population actually do each year.
    • Type O negative blood (red cells) can be transfused to patients of all blood types. It is always in great demand and often in short supply.
    • Type AB positive plasma can be transfused to patients of all other blood types. AB plasma is also usually in short supply.

    Here are some facts about the blood-donation process:

    • Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded.
    • Blood donation is a simple four-step process: registration, medical history and mini-physical, donation, and refreshments.
    • Every blood donor is given a mini-physical, checking the donor’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and hemoglobin to ensure it is safe for the donor to give blood.
    • The actual blood donation typically takes less than 12 minutes. The entire process, from arrival to departute, takes about an hour and 15 minutes.
    • The average adult has about 10 pints of blood in his body. Roughly 1 pint is given during a donation.
    • All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, and other infectious diseases before it can be released to hospitals.
    • Information you give to the American Red Cross during the donation process is confidential. It may not be released without your permission except as directed by law.
    • There are four types of transfusable products that can be derived from blood: red cells, platelets, plasma, and cryoprecipitate. Typically, two or three of these are produced from a pint of donated whole blood. A single donation can potentially help more than one patient.
    • Donors can give either whole blood or specific blood components only.
    • The number-one reason donors say they give blood is because they want to help others. The two most common reasons cited by people who don’t give blood are: “I never thought about it” and “I don’t like needles.”

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