Blood can only come from volunteer donors. There are no artificial substitutes. If donors did not give blood ahead of time to assure a ready blood supply, the Emergency Medical Technicians, as well as the trauma doctors and nurses could not operate.
Therefore, if you want to protect your family, friends and neighbors you cannot wait to donate. Every time a mass shooting occurs or disasters strike caring people respond and line up for hours waiting to donate blood as one way they feel they can help. This is a poignant gesture and one that helps to replenish the blood that is transfused in the first 24 to 48 hours.
Due to viral blood testing for patient safety, it takes a minimum of 24 hours for test results to be completed. The donated blood then needs to be labeled before it can be shipped to hospitals.
As Kathleen Sazama, M.D., J.D. the former President of the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management said, “Donating blood should be viewed as a community responsibility, like inoculating children, paying taxes, observing the rules of the road. Someday it may be your loved one who needs a transfusion. Think now about paying it forward.”
At any one time, due to donor and patient safety, only about 38% of people are eligible to donate. Yet, of those who could donate less than 10% do. Thus, a small minority of healthy people supply the blood that one of every three of us will need in our lifetimes. That is why OneBlood seeks to recognize all of our regular donors each time they achieve a new gallon level. They are the backbone of the community’s blood supply, helping us to maintain a safe and ready blood supply.
Blood and platelet donors are essential not only for saving the lives of trauma victims but also for the treatment of many other patients. As America’s Blood Centers stated in a publication: Value of Blood to the U.S. Healthcare System, “Every two seconds in the U.S. someone needs blood. Blood transfusions are needed to treat patients with acute care needs such as trauma, as well as for ongoing disease management, including cancer, inherited blood disorders, cardiovascular and orthopedic surgeries, and organ and bone marrow transplants.” Blood donors are the silent heroes on a variety of medical teams helping to save lives and families!