Tuesday is “World Blood Donor Day,” which was created to help raise awareness about blood donations and to thank all those who donate blood.
According to the Red Cross, someone here in the United States needs blood or platelets every two seconds.
“Blood donations are really important. They can be life-saving for many people, people with cancer, people undergoing big operations, heart operations, operations on their blood vessels, cancer operations,” said Baruch Fertel, MD, emergency medicine physician for Cleveland Clinic. “Those people need blood because sometimes they can lose blood during the operation.”
Dr. Fertel said blood donations are especially important during the summer when more people are active and the risk for accidents and trauma increases.
If you have never donated blood before, the process is pretty simple and safe. When you’re finished, you’ll have donated about one pint of blood. That may seem like a lot, but your body will quickly recover.
Dr. Fertel said they want to make sure they have all blood types available, however, Type O Negative is considered universal. That means it can be used on anyone in an emergency situation.
“O negative blood is a very important blood type and certainly one that we need in abundance. However, anything counts, any blood that someone can give can count and really make a difference in saving someone’s life,” said Dr. Fertel.
He said it can also be helpful to know which kind of blood type you have in the case that information is ever needed.
For those interested in donating blood, you can contact your local hospital or Red Cross for blood drives.