June 5, 2008

Local Blood Drives Helping Meet 38,000 Unit Daily Demand

Any given day, there is an average of 38,000 units of blood needed for medical emergencies. Thatís why any given day there are hundreds of blood drives going on across the nation.

Thatís the case in northeast Missouri, and this week is no different, with a pair of local drives giving area donors a chance to help meet the demand.

The Downing Christian Church will host a blood drive on Friday, June 6th from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m..

On Monday, June 9 the Red Cross blood mobile will be at Scotland County Memorial Hospital from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

All donors at both drives will receive a complimentary t-shirt.

Regulations in the United States allow people to donate whole blood once every 56 days.

According to the most recent data from the National Blood Data Resource Center, U.S. hospitals transfused nearly 14 million units of whole blood and red blood cells to 4.9 million patients in the latest recording period.

Whole blood can be separated into its components: red blood cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate. The total number of units of all of these components transfused in the last recording year was 29 million. And the volume of blood transfused is increasing at the rate of six percent per year. In emergency conditions such as war or disaster, the need for blood may change.

Under normal circumstances, every two seconds someone in America will need a blood transfusion. Blood transfusions are used for trauma victimsódue to accidents and burnsóheart surgery, organ transplants, women with complications during childbirth, newborns and premature babies, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or other diseases, such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia.

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