"Gift of Life Legacy" - NBC, USA, Inc. and American Red Cross Partner to Increase Awareness of the Importance of Blood Donations

By Disaster Management Office & First Lady Josephine Scruggs |  August 22, 2011

The Gift of Life Legacy Continues

Accepting Blood Donations at the Convention Center on Wednesday September 7, 2011 during Annual Session from 10 am to 4 pm

Walk-Ins Welcome or Email your appointment request to Dr. Theresa Pickett at: tpicket@msn.com.

For the second year in a row, the American Red Cross is partnering with National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. in an effort to spread awareness about the constant need for blood.

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Blood Facts:

Did you know a single blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives?  That’s because your blood donation can be separated into components to treat patients with different needs.  Your red blood cells can be used by accident victims and sickle cell anemia patients.  Your platelets are the fragile cells that control bleeding and can be used by cancer patients and those undergoing chemotherapy.  Your plasma is the yellow liquid portion of the blood used primarily to treat burn victims.

The following blood facts give you an idea of just how important your donation is to hospital patients in need:

•    On any given day, an average of 38,000 units of red blood cells are needed for hospital patients in the United States.

•    One in 10 people entering a hospital needs blood.

•    Approximately 38 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood.  Of those eligible, only about 8 percent actually give blood.

•    In the United States, someone needs a blood transfusion about every two seconds.

•    There are about one billion red blood cells in two to three drops of blood.

•    Red blood cells must be transfused within 42 days.

•    There is no substitute for human blood.  It cannot be manufactured.

•    Almost everyone will know someone who needs blood.

Every blood type is important, but type O donors play a critical role in maintaining the blood supply.  O-positive is the most common blood type.  Thirty-nine percent of the population is type O-positive, but only 9-percent is type O-negative.  Type O-negative is often called the universal blood type because it can be transfused to a person with any blood type. 

African-Americans play an important role in blood donation because they carry a high percentage of type O blood donors.  About 51 percent of African Americans have type O blood.  It is critical that more minorities give blood regularly to ensure that patient needs are met.

You can help increase this percentage by donating blood at the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Orange County Convention Center located at 9800 International Way in Orlando. 

Since the Red Cross does not currently collect blood in the state of Florida, staff from Florida’s Blood Centers graciously agreed to join us to demonstrate the blood collection process.  All blood donated at this blood drive benefits the hospitals served by Florida’s Blood Centers. 

If you are a blood donor, thank you.  Please continue to give.  If you’ve never donated blood, consider this your personal invitation.  If you are a business leader or active in a community organization, consider hosting a Red Cross blood drive.

For more information or to schedule your blood donation appointment, call 1-800-RED CROSS or log on to www.redcrossblood.org.