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Why Should I Give Blood?

In the U.S., someone needs a blood transfusion every two to three seconds, and 95% of all Americans will need a blood transfusion at some point in their lives. Last year, blood donations to Long Island blood Services increased by 12 percent, but that is not enough to keep up with demand, let alone offset the loss of blood that can no longer be imported from Europe due to new FDA regulations.

So, why is blood use rising? About four million people receive blood transfusions in the U.S. every year. This Figure is expected to increase in years to come due to:

  • the aging of the population;
  • the rising number of surgeries performed in the U.S. that require transfusions (such as open-heart surgery and knee-replacement and hip-replacement operations); and
  • the increase in procedures and surgeries, such as organ transplants that require numerous transfusions. According to LIBS, a bone marrow transplant patient needs three weeks of transfusions and a person undergoing a liver-transplant operation requires 20 units of blood or more.

    As the need for blood increases, the pool of donors has not. Long Island's donation rate is below our nation's average; less than two percent of eligible Long Islanders donate blood. Nationwide, 60 percent of Americans are eligible blood donors but only 5 percent donate annually.

    Polls show that 76 percent of Americans expect blood to be available when they need it, but 72 percent underestimate the demand for blood.