Thursday, July 5, 2012

50+ New and interesting facts about Human Blood

Facts about Blood:

  • 4.5 million Americans will a need blood transfusion each year.
  • 43,000 pints: amount of donated blood used each day in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Someone needs blood every two seconds.
  • Only 37 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood – less than 10 percent do annually.
  • About 1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood.
  • One pint of blood can save up to three lives.
  • Healthy adults who are at least 17 years old, and at least 110 pounds may donate about a pint of blood – the most common form of donation – every 56 days, or every two months. Females receive 53 percent of blood transfusions; males receive 47 percent.
  • 94 percent of blood donors are registered voters.
  • Four main red blood cell types: A, B, AB and O. Each can be positive or negative for the Rh factor. AB is the universal recipient; O negative is the universal donor of red blood cells.
  • Dr. Karl Landsteiner first identified the major human blood groups – A, B, AB and O – in 1901.
  • One unit of blood can be separated into several components: red blood cells, plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitate.
  • Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body's organs and tissues.
  • Red blood cells live about 120 days in the circulatory system.
  • Platelets promote blood clotting and give those with leukemia and other cancers a chance to live.
  • Plasma is a pale yellow mixture of water, proteins and salts.
  • Plasma, which is 90 percent water, makes up 55 percent of blood volume.
  • Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets.
  • Blood or plasma that comes from people who have been paid for it cannot be used to human transfusion.
  • Granulocytes, a type of white blood cell, roll along blood vessel walls in search of bacteria to engulf and destroy.
  • White cells are the body's primary defense against infection.
  • Apheresis is a special kind of blood donation that allows a donor to give specific blood components, such as platelets.
  • Forty-two days: how long most donated red blood cells can be stored.
  • Five days: how long most donated platelets can be stored.
  • One year: how long frozen plasma can be stored.
  • Much of today's medical care depends on a steady supply of blood from healthy donors.
  • pints: the average whole blood and red blood cell transfusion.*
  • Children being treated for cancer, premature infants and children having heart surgery need blood and platelets from donors of all types, especially type O.
  • Anemic patients need blood transfusions to increase their red blood cell levels.
  • Cancer, transplant and trauma patients, and patients undergoing open-heart surgery may require platelet transfusions to survive.
  • Sickle cell disease is an inherited disease that affects more than 80,000 people in the United States, 98 percent of whom are of African descent.
  • Many patients with severe sickle cell disease receive blood transfusions every month.
  • A patient could be forced to pass up a lifesaving organ, if compatible blood is not available to support the transplant.
  • Thirteen tests (11 for infectious diseases) are performed on each unit of donated blood.
  • 17 percent of non-donors cite "never thought about it" as the main reason for not giving, while 15 percent say they're too busy.
  • The #1 reason blood donors say they give is because they "want to help others."
  • Shortages of all blood types happen during the summer and winter holidays.
  • Blood centers often run short of types O and B red blood cells.
  • The rarest blood type is the one not on the shelf when it's needed by a patient.
  • There is no substitute for human blood.
  • If all blood donors gave three times a year, blood shortages would be a rare event (The current average is about two.).
  • If only one more percent of all Americans would give blood, blood shortages would disappear for the foreseeable future.
  • 46.5 gallons: amount of blood you could donate if you begin at age 17 and donate every 56 days until you reach 79 years old.
  • Four easy steps to donate blood: medical history, quick physical, donation and snacks.
  • The actual blood donation usually takes about 10 minutes. The entire process – from the time you sign in to the time you leave – takes about an hour.
  • After donating blood, you replace the fluid in hours and the red blood cells within four weeks. It takes eight weeks to restore the iron lost after donating.
  • You cannot get AIDS or any other infectious disease by donating blood.
  • 10 pints: amount of blood in the body of an average adult.
  • One unit of whole blood is roughly the equivalent of one pint.
  • Blood makes up about 7 percent of your body's weight.
  • A new-born baby has about one cup of blood in his body.
  • Giving blood will not decrease your strength.
  • Any company, community organization, place of worship or individual may contact their local community blood centre to host a blood drive.
  • Blood drives hosted by companies, schools, places of worship and civic organizations supply roughly half of all blood donations across the U.S.
  • People who donate blood are volunteers and are not paid for their donation.
  • 500,000: the number of Americans who donated blood in the days following the September 11 attacks.
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