Benefits from donated blood

There’s no substitute for human blood, although researchers have been trying for decades to create an artificial substitute. Only blood from one person can save another.

Human blood contains different proteins, and can be classified into four major blood groups: A, B, AB, and O. Type O is the most common, and the type blood banks frequently run short

of during their peak seasons. Blood transfusions must take place between donors of like blood types. The body produces antibodies if given the wrong blood type.

Blood donation benefits many people. One pint of blood benefits donors in the following ways:

  • Each pint of whole blood donated by one person helps three other people.
  • One pint of blood may be separate into its various components such as plasma, red blood cells and others. If one pint of blood is used as components, it can help seven people.
  • Blood donation benefits surgical patients. A liver transplant patient, for example, may need up to ten pints of blood during surgery. Blood transfusions are needed during many types of surgery and for accident victims.
  • People undergoing chemotherapy and radiation benefit from blood donation.
  • Individuals with sickle-cell anemia need blood donations to replace their red blood cells.
  • Donated blood saves the lives of premature infants and children. Many of these tiny patients require blood transfusions, and only blood from a donor can help them.