Blood Donation
Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One pint of blood can save up to three lives but sadly less than 10 percent of eligible individuals donate. Dr. Ed Hill tells us more about blood donation in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Every year, more than 4.5 million patients need blood transfusions in the United States and Canada. Blood components and blood products are a critical part of everyday medical care, such as major surgeries and other medical procedures.

Volunteers donate virtually all of this countryís supply of blood for transfusion. People in good health who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate a pint of blood as often as every eight weeks. The volume lost by donating blood is replenished within a few hours and the hemoglobin in a few weeks. If you are otherwise healthy, donating blood is entirely safe.

Before transfusion every unit is tested for the donorís blood group, markers of common infectious diseases, including HIV and Hepatitis B, and for any preexisting antibodies to the antigens present on the surface of the red cells.

The blood supply nationwide often runs short, especially around holidays and during summer months. The need for blood has increased in recent years and that demand can only be met by volunteers like you.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Ed Hill.