Blood Facts

  • Blood makes up about 7 percent of your body's weight.
  • Just one pint of blood can help save the lives of several people.
  • Platelets help blood to clot and give those with leukemia and other cancers a chance to live.
  • There is no substitute for human blood.
  • Much of today's medical care depends on a steady supply of blood from healthy donors.
  • Volunteers provide nearly all of the nation's blood supply for transfusion.
  • Every three seconds someone needs blood.
  • Approximately 32,000 pints of blood are used each day in the United States.
  • Shortages of all types of blood often occur during the summer and winter holidays.
  • 37% of the population of the United States is eligible to donate, yet only 5 percent nationally do so. This drops to 3 percent in Southern California.
  • If all blood donors gave at least twice a year, it would greatly strengthen the nation's blood supply.
  • Anyone who is in good health, is at least 17 years old, and weighs at least 110 pounds may donate blood every 56 days.
  • Blood donation takes four steps: medical history, quick physical, donation and snacks.
  • The actual blood donation takes 5 to 10 minutes. The entire process, from when you sign in to the time you leave, takes about 45 minutes to one hour.
  • You cannot get AIDS or any other blood disease by donating blood.
  • A heart surgery uses an average of six pints of red blood cells and six pints of platelets.
  • The average liver transplant patient needs 40 pints of red blood cells, 30 pints of platelets, 20 bags of cryoprecipitate, and 25 pints of fresh frozen plasma.
  • The average bone marrow transplant requires 120 pints of platelets and about 20 pints of red blood cells.
  • If you began donating blood at the age of 17 and donated every 56 days until you reached the age of 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood.
  • One out of every 10 patients entering a hospital needs blood.

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