Today is the official World Blood Donor Day.
Every year, 4.5 million Americans need a blood transfusion, but only about three percent of the country donates.
Every two seconds, someone in the country needs blood, with just one donation of blood, saving multiple lives.
“It puts us in perspective of appreciation of our donors that come in and donate every day, because without them, our hospitals wouldn’t function and wouldn’t be able to save lives without their donations.” says Yesenia Cassilas, the Donor Specialist Supervisor for LifeStream.
LifeStream Blood Bank provides donated blood to about 80 hospitals in Southern California, which helps benefit so many different lives.
“Goes to infinity of patients we have cancer patients, automotive incidents, accidents, in perspective an automotive accident can use up to 50 pints of blood just for a car accident.” Casillas says.
With each blood donor only able to donate one pint, and in a case like this where 50 pints of blood are needed, 50 different donations are critical.
The process of donating blood is not complicated.
“We do like a little mini, mini physical where we do your blood pressure, temperature, your pulse check and finger stick to check your iron. If everything goes well, then we’ll go ahead and put you into the donation process.”
Most of the donations come from high school students, but with 500 to 600 units needed a day, and the summer season being their slowest season, the blood bank isn’t receiving even half of those numbers.
“They have a misunderstanding about donating blood. It’s very important just to know like I was saying our donors help save many lives with just one single pint they can save up to three different lives.” Casillas says.
Anyone can donate, starting at age 15, donating either regular blood or platelets, with platelets needed most to help cancer patients.