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Health: January Is National Blood Donor Month

January 26, 2022
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Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood and/or platelets. Each day, the Red Cross must collect 13,000 pints of blood from across the country to meet this constant demand. Patients require blood transfusions for a variety of reasons including serious injuries, surgeries, childbirth, anemia, blood disorders, cancer treatments, and many others. Due to seasonal weather and illness, winter is one of the most difficult times to collect blood. Sadly, the pandemic has made the situation even more dire, as organizations like the Red Cross have struggled to maintain a sufficient blood supply.

We’re especially thankful to the hundreds of Penumbra employees who routinely turned out for and rolled up their sleeves during our many blood drives — a company tradition we look forward to resuming as soon as possible. In the spirit of National Blood Donor Month, we encourage all eligible donors to register with their local blood donation centers, as well as consider becoming life-long donors.

Did You Know:
• Blood and platelets cannot be manufactured; they can only come from volunteer donors.
• 13.6 million units of whole blood and red blood cells are collected in the U.S. in a year.
• One donation can potentially save up to three lives.
• Blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O.
• Less than 38 percent of the population is eligible to give blood or platelets and only a fraction of eligible people donate yearly.
• About 45% of people in the U.S. have Group O (positive or negative) blood; the proportion is higher among Hispanics (57%) and African Americans (51%).
• Red blood cells must be used within 42 days (or less), and platelets must be used within just 5 days.
• Type O negative red cells can be given to patients of all blood types. Because only 7% of people in the U.S. are type O negative, it’s always in great demand and often in short supply.
• Approximately 29,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S.
• Type AB plasma can be transfused to patients of all blood types. Since only 4% of people in the U.S. have type AB blood, this plasma is usually in short supply.
• Nearly 5,000 units of platelets and 6.500 units of plasma are needed daily in the U.S.
• Nearly 16 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S.

Source: American Red Cross

Collage of Penumbra employees giving blood during blood drive


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