It’s summer…vacation time! But while you’re enjoying a vacation from the real world, many individuals are unable to take vacation from the necessity of life-saving blood and platelet transfusions. According to the American Red Cross, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion every 2 minutes; that translates to 5 million people every year. Who are these individuals? They are people with:
Summer vacation time historically brings about blood shortages; as donors vacation, blood donations decline.
The World Health Organization declared June 14, 2015, World Blood Donor Day to heighten awareness and combat these shortages that not only exist in the United States, but worldwide. The theme of this year’s campaign is “Thank you for saving my life”, which focuses on thanking blood donors who save lives every day through their donations. The campaign encourages people from all over the world to donate blood regularly through the slogan “Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters”. The campaign features stories from recipients whose lives were saved through blood donation; these stories are meant to motivate regular donors to continue to donate blood, as well as those in good health who have never donated, to begin doing so.
As a blood recipient, I can attest to the importance of blood donors. While in the postanesthesia care unit, recovering from the Cesarean birth of my son, I started feeling detached from my surroundings. I called to my nurse, and told her I felt like my hearing was going. She immediately checked my blood pressure; no reading with the electronic blood pressure device…she could only palpate a systolic blood pressure. I looked up at my ECG monitor, sinus tachycardia with a heart rate of 140 beats/minute. I knew I was in trouble, but I was too weak to worry. After a quick assessment, my nurse notified my obstetrician of my postpartum hemorrhage. Before I knew it, I was receiving 2 units of blood and was rushed back to the operating room…“Thank you to my donors for saving my life, so I could raise my son!”
In response to World Blood Donor Day, you can help save lives by hosting a blood drive this summer in your organization. You can register to host the blood drive through the American Red Cross website. It’s quick and easy. You can function as the blood drive coordinator for your organization or delegate the task to another leader who is passionate about blood donation. The blood drive coordinator is responsible for the following tasks:
Are you in? What will your organization do this summer to help ease the blood shortage and save lives?
We have made a small effort of consolidating blood donors and societies at one place (www.99-blooddonors.com ) to make it a central place for all the needy people. You may refer it at the time of your need.