Dramatic scenes from movies and TV lead a lot of people to believe that most blood transfusions go to people who are seriously injured in accidents.
In fact, just 2% of donated blood in this country goes to patients with traumatic injuries, according to statistics compiled by the Alliance for Community Transfusion Services.
The highest percentage of transfusions in the United States actually go to patients battling cancer and related blood conditions. Here’s the breakdown:
- Cancer and blood disease treatments: 34%
- Anemia treatment: 19%
- Surgery patients: 18%
- Treatments for heart, liver and kidney disorders: 13%
- Orthopedic patients: 10%
- Obstetrics: 4%
- Trauma and accidents: 2%
Patients with cancer – and especially blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma – often need additional blood because their bodies often cannot produce enough blood cells on their own.
People with anemia do not have enough healthy red blood cells, so they need regular transfusions. And even though the amount of blood required for surgeries and related treatments has been reduced dramatically in recent years, blood loss still occurs.
Difficulties with childbirth lead some women to need transfusions as well.
The alliance is made up of 12 independent blood centers in Texas (including the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center), Oklahoma, Louisiana, Missouri, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and California. Members distribute more than 1.5 million transfusions to more than 750 hospitals every year.
To do your part for all your neighbors who need blood – for whatever reason – visit SouthTexasBlood.org, or call 210-731-5590 to make an appointment today.