American Red Cross Blood Services - New England Region
Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont
Where Tradition and the New Millennium Meet
The Need is Great. . .
Blood Saves Lives. . .
- Blood cannot be manufactured. Its only source is a healthy volunteer donor.
- The American Red Cross provides about half the nation's blood supply - roughly six million pints per year.
- Nationally, less than 5% of the population gives blood, supporting the other 95%.
- 1400 pints of blood must be collected every working day in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont to meet patient needs.
- The New England Red Cross Region serves 170 hospitals.
- In general, fewer people donate during summer months and holidays, but blood usage often increases. Summer and holiday donors are especially valuable.
- Blood is perishable. Red blood cells must be used within 42 days. Other blood products must be used within 5 days.
- Over the past three years, one million fewer people have donated blood.
How Much Blood is Transfused?
- Blood is available to any patient who needs it. Patients are not required to find donors to replace the blood they used. It is a community responsibility.
- One pint of blood is separated into its component parts - red cells, plasma and platelets - and given to several different patients.
- Blood transports nutrients and oxygen, fights infection, provides clotting factors and eliminates wastes.
- Blood products are used for surgery, trauma, chemotherapy, kidney dialysis, hemophilia, shock and other life-threatening conditions.
That depends on the type of surgery and whether or not there are complications. Typical blood usages might be as follows:
|Surgical Procedure ||Example of Blood Needs|
|Liver transplant ||40 red cells, 40 fresh frozen plasma|
|Heart transplant ||0-4 red cells|
|Open heart ||2-8 red cells, 6 platelets|
|Orthopedic ||2 red cells|
|Tumor removal ||2-3 red cells|
|Prostate cancer ||4-6 red cells|
|2-4 red cells|
|Aneurysm ||6 red cells, 4 plasma|
|Bone marrow |
|1-2 red cells per week, 6-8 platelets daily for 4-6 weeks|
|4-40 red cells|
|Leukemia ||6-10 platelets per day|
Giving Blood. . .
Blood Donations are Tested and Typed
- Giving blood is simple, safe and takes about an hour. The actual donation takes 6 to 10 minutes.
- You absolutely, positively cannot get AIDS or any other disease from giving blood. A sterile needle is used only once and then discarded.
- Most people who are in good health, 17 years of age or older and weighing over 110 pounds can give blood through the Red Cross.
- The average adult body contains about 10 to 12 pints of blood.
- Your body quickly replaces the fluid from the blood you give.
- Getting a good night's sleep, having a good breakfast or lunch and drinking plenty of fluids helps prepare a donor for giving blood.
- Blood donors can give blood every eight weeks, or six times a year.
- Each blood donor receives a mini-physical before donating, including temperature, pulse, medical history and hemoglobin (or iron) level.
- The Red Cross only collects blood from voluntary donors.
- Every unit of blood donated is carefully screened in the laboratory to detect the presence of disease and to determine blood type.
- People are one of four blood types (A, B, AB and O) and are either Rh positive or Rh negative. Blood types are inherited.
- Type O negative is called the Universal Donor because, in an emergency, it can be given to people with other blood types.
- Type O positive is the most common blood type. During periods of shortage, it is the first to "feel the pinch" since most patients will have Type O positive blood.
Please - be a blood donor!