You’re Just the Type to Save Lives
One-thousand one, one-thousand two; every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood to survive! Blood cannot be manufactured – it can only come from generous donors like you.
The American Red Cross blood program began in 1940, and currently provides 40 percent of the nation's blood supply for patients in 2,600 hospitals across the U.S.
In some countries patients and their families have to find their own donors, but in the U.S. we have The American Red Cross, which allows patients and their families to focus on recovery.
Most blood donations given to the American Red Cross are collected at mobile blood drives set up at community organizations, companies, high schools, colleges, places of worship or military installations. They rely on donation centers to provide the rest and that is where you can make all the difference.
The blood type in greatest demand by hospitals is type O. Only seven percent of people in the U.S. have type O negative blood. Type O negative donors are universal red cell donors, whose blood can be given to those of all blood types.
Type O negative blood is especially required in emergencies when the patient's blood type is unknown & for newborns.
Nearly 45 percent of people in the U.S. have this rare type O (positive or negative) blood. This percentage is higher among Hispanics – 57 percent, & among African Americans – 51 percent.
Only three percent of people in the U.S. have AB positive blood type, & are universal donors of plasma, often used in emergencies, for newborns & for patients requiring massive transfusions.
Who needs blood donations? Maybe someone you love.
Sickle cell disease affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the U.S. Sickle cell patients can require multiple blood transfusions.
The American Cancer Society states more than 1.69 million people diagnosed with cancer this year are expected to need blood during their chemotherapy treatment.
A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.
Is it Safe? Yes!
Donating blood is safe; a sterile needle is used once per donor, then discarded.
All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B & C, syphilis & other infectious diseases before it can be released to hospitals.
Information given to the American Red Cross during the donation is confidential and may not be released without your permission except as directed by law.
Is it Simple? Yes!
It's a simple four-step process: registration, medical history & mini-physical, donation & refreshments.
The mini-physical checks donor temperature, blood pressure, pulse & hemoglobin to ensure it is safe for the donor to give blood.
Is it Timely? Yes!
A blood donation takes about 10 minutes & the entire process, from arrival to exit, takes a little over an hour. Save time by completing a RapidPass the day of donation prior to arriving.
Ready to Donate? Yes!
1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)
What about Cord Blood?
The term "cord blood" refers to blood in the umbilical cord and placenta after the birth of a baby.
Cord Blood contains stem cells that can grow into blood and immune system cells, as well as other types of cells and is often used as a substitute for bone marrow in stem cell transplants.
Cord Blood can treat over 80 diseases, including cancers, blood disorders, genetic & metabolic diseases.
Cord blood donation costs nothing, but can give birth to hope for a patient in need, & is listed by genetic type, with no information about the identity of the donor.
In the United States, Be The Match maintains a national network of public cord blood banks & registered cord blood donations.
Most programs require the consenting mother to sign up by the 34th week of pregnancy, in order to complete the enrollment process in time, which includes a health history screening.