A way to give to your community is through blood donating. I just thought Id post a few stats about it (based on United States). Im giving today and I will continue to give when I can. Someday myself or a loved one could need blood... I would hope that there would be some. Just make sure you eat and drink before and after donating.
The second time I gave blood I was at work. I didnt eat much for breakfast and then right after the donation I was called out to the floor for assistance (was going to eat lunch). Well I was out there for a long time and ended up passing out... on my way down I hit my face on a chair- gave myself a nice black eye. The blood mobile was still there so they assisted me and got some food and sugar in me. A few weeks later they sent over a hooded sweatshirt...lol... I make sure to eat and drink now, It is pretty painless to get the needle in the arm. There are some regulations on who can or can't give blood... but if you don't know you should check it out!!!
(info from: Welcome to Memorial Blood Centers)
Anyone in good health, at least 17 years old, and at least 110 pounds may donate blood every 56 days.
If all blood donors gave 2-4 times a year, it would help prevent blood shortages.
The actual blood donation usually takes less than ten minutes. The entire process -- from the time you sign in to the time you leave -- takes about an hour.
Giving blood will not decrease your strength.
It takes less than 24 hours for your body to regenerate the fluid volume lost during a donation. You replace red blood cells within four weeks, and it takes eight weeks to restore the iron lost after donating.
You cannot get AIDS or any other infectious disease by donating blood.
Blood centers often run short of type O blood.
Shortages of all blood types happen during the summer and winter holiday months.
Any company, community organization, place of worship or individual may contact their local community blood center to host a blood drive.
People voluntarily donate blood out of a sense of duty and community spirit, not to make money. Blood donors are not paid for their donations.
Much of today's medical care depends on a steady supply of blood from healthy donors.
The #1 reason donors say they give is because they "want to help others."
WHO NEEDS BLOOD
Car accident and blood loss victims can need transfusions of 50 pints or more of red blood cells.
Bone marrow transplant patients need platelet donations from about 120 people and red blood cells from about 20 people.
Severe burn victims can need 20 units of platelets during their treatment.
Children being treated for cancer, premature infants and children having heart surgery need blood and platelets from donors of all types.
Anemic patients need blood transfusions to increase their iron levels.
Cancer, transplant and trauma patients, and patients undergoing open-heart surgery require platelet transfusions to survive.
1 cup: How much blood a newborn baby has in his or her body.
1 pint: The rough equivalent of 1 unit of blood or the amount of one whole blood donation.
1 year: Shelf life of frozen plasma.
3: the number of lives saved by one pint of donated blood.
3.4 pints: the average red blood cell transfusion.
4: The number of main blood types: A, B, AB and O. AB positive is the universal recipient, O negative is the universal donor.
4 steps to donate blood: register, mini-physical & interview, whole blood donation, and relax.
5 days: Shelf life of donated platelets.
10: Number of pints of blood in the body of an average adult.
12 tests (10 for infectious diseases) are performed on each unit of donated blood.
48 gallons: amount of blood you could donate if you begin at age 17 and donate every 56 days until you reach 76 years old.
32,000 pints: amount of donated blood used each day in the United States.
4.5 million: the number of American lives saved each year by blood transfusions.
1 billion: Number of red blood cells in 2-3 drops of blood.
120 days: How long red blood cells live in the circulatory system.
42 days: Shelf life of donated red blood cells.
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7%: How much of your body weight blood makes up.
Since a pint is a pound, you temporarily lose a pound every time you donate blood.
1 out of 10 hospital patients needs blood.
Three gallons of blood is used every minute in the United States.
Females receive 53% of blood transfusions; males receive 47%.
94% of blood donors are registered voters.
60% of the U.S. Population is eligible to donate blood. Only 5% donate regularly.
17% of non-donors cite "never thought about it" as the main reason for not giving, while 15% say they're too busy.
Sickle cell disease is an inherited disease that affects more than 80,000 people in the United States, 98% of whom are of African descent. Some patients with complications from severe sickle cell disease receive blood transfusions every month, up to 4 pints at a time.
Plasma, which is 90% water, constitutes 55% of blood volume.
Someone needs blood every 3 seconds.
Blood fights infection and helps heal wounds.
Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body's organs and tissue.
Platelets support blood clotting and give those with leukemia and other cancers a chance to live.
Apheresis (ay-fur-ee-sis) is a special kind of blood donation that allows a donor to give specific blood components, such as platelets.
One unit of blood can be separated into several components: red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitate.
Plasma is a pale yellow mixture of water, proteins and salts.
Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets.
Granulocytes, a type of white blood cell, roll along blood vessel walls in search of bacteria to eat.
White cells are the body's primary defense against infection.
There is no lasting substitute for human blood.