The Seabreeze Beacon

June 14th is World Blood Donor Day

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Kacey Flores, PA-C, Coastal Gateway Health Center

  Every year, on June 14th, countries worldwide celebrate World Blood Donor Day. This day raises awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and thanks voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. From plasma treatments to research and emergency uses, donating blood is an important cornerstone that has aided people worldwide for centuries.

History of World Blood Donor Day

  The first documented successful blood transfusion was performed in 1655 by Richard Lower, who was able to transfuse blood between two dogs with no appreciable ill effects.  From that point, the science of blood product transfusion began developing and swiftly moved from animal to human experimentation. From progress in transfusion technology, spearheaded by Karl Landsteiner discovering the ABO human blood type system to best determine donors in 1900, blood transfusions quickly became a staple in the medical field. A declaration was made in 2005 to designate World Blood Donor Day as an annual event. The event is held every June 14th, choosing Landsteiner’s birthday to commemorate this special day.

Why It’s Important

  1. Before blood transfusions became a regular medical practice, many lives were lost because of an inadequate blood supply. Blood donations meet various medical needs, from pre-planned, minor procedures to emergency surgeries. Blood transfusions are an essential part of the treatment of cancer patients and expecting mothers and are vital in cases of disasters, traumas, or car crashes. Statistics show that 25% or more of us will require a blood transfusion at least once in our lifetime!
  2. There’s always a need for more blood donations. Donating blood is a quick, easy, and incredibly safe process, but only a small subsection of the population are regular blood donors. Of the people considered “eligible” to donate blood, only about 10% choose to donate. Because blood donation is an entirely voluntary process, World Blood Donor Day is an important reminder that there can never be such a thing as “too many blood donations”.  In the United States alone, someone needs blood every two (2) seconds! In Southeast Texas, there is currently a critical shortage of blood. Some Southeast Texas facilities only have a two-day supply of blood on the shelves!

What Can I Do to Help?

  Give the valuable gift of donating blood or plasma regularly! You can choose to donate on June 14th or schedule an appointment anytime! You may look online to find a donor site near you. There are often mobile donor vehicles that come to your hometown.

  Every single donation is a precious, lifesaving gift, and repeat donation is the key to building a safe and sustainable blood supply. The process of donating blood typically takes 20-40 minutes and can be repeated every eight (8) weeks. One pint of blood is removed each time you donate and can save up to three (3) lives! Plasma donation takes 90-120 minutes, and donors must return for a second donation within a six-month timeframe. In the U.S., plasma donors are financially compensated!

  If you can’t donate blood due to medical conditions or illness, spreading the word about the importance of World Blood Donor Day can be hugely impactful. Tell your friends, family, colleagues, and even social media followers how important blood donations are. Many people are unaware of how easy the process is, so word-of-mouth is incredibly helpful in inspiring future blood donors. The life you save could be your own!

  Coastal Gateway Health Center can be reached by phone at 409.296.4444 or by email at [email protected].  For more information regarding our services and programs, please visit our website at www.coastalgatewayhc.org or find and follow us on Facebook.  We are proud to be #yourcommunityhealthcenter.

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