How to save a life in 45 minutes

Anna LeJeune, Staff Writer

Every three seconds someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion, and there are roughly 40,000 transfusions per day.

Blood saves lives; it runs through our bodies and keeps us alive. We have plenty of it, and our body is able to rapidly rebuild new blood cells to replenish any lost supply. When donating blood, you usually give up to 450 mL, which is about the volume of a can of Coca-Cola, and even that twelve ounces pales in comparison to the 185 ounces of blood we have constantly circulating.

You recover quickly, too; blood donated can be replenished in less than twenty-four hours.  And yet, with 60% of the population eligible to donate blood, only 5% do. The human body cannot function without blood, and there are fellow humans in the world who rely solely upon donated blood to live another day.

Tens of thousands of people receive blood transfusions every day, whether it is someone in surgery, someone who was in a car accident and has a serious injury, or a mom and her child during birth––all would likely die without donated blood. Twenty percent of all blood donations go to children fighting for their lives, a cause most can agree upon as being incredibly worthy.

One in three people will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime, and 13.7 million men, women, and children are fighting or overcame cancer this year; Almost every cancer patient out there needs a blood transfusion while undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation.

By spreading awareness and donating blood, you can help save millions of lives, possibly even your own, now and in the future. It’s impossible to say when fate may take a turn, and you may be on the receiving end. This simple donation ensures the health and safety of someone’s mother, son, grandpa, wife, or child, and it takes less than an hour to complete the blood transfusion.

There is no better gift to be given than blood; it is giving life. It’s difficult to imagine a more satisfying way to help others. Through your simple contribution, you have ensured both the health of a person in need as well as the peace of mind for all those that care about them.