Hochadel 1Ryan HochadelMrs. MaxwellLiterature5 October 2011 Blood Drives Life-threatening accidents happen every second of every day. Unfortunately, some ofthem have a very tragic ending. The people that survive mostly likely go through all kinds ofsurgeries and chances are they had blood transfusions. One out of seven people that enter thehospital are in need of a blood transfer. Blood is the fluid that travels throughout the body byway of veins and arteries carrying nourishment and oxygen to all parts of the body while alsocarrying away waste products. Blood transfusions are defined as taking blood, or blood compo-nents, from one person and transferring it into the bloodstream of another person (Blood Transfu-sions). A blood drive is an event where local citizens willingly donate their own blood in hopesthat it will save the life of another person; blood drives help save thousands of lives a year. Blooddonations, or blood banking, also refers to the process of storing blood and blood components in-tended for transfusions; these blood drives save thousands of lives each day. Blood drives originated in France in 1667. A man by the name of Jean-Baptiste Denisdocumented a direct blood transfusion just forty years after William Harvey discovered the circu-latory system. The first blood transfusions were very unsafe because they could not predict donor- recipient blood type compatibility. The first blood drive in the United States was in 1936 locat-ed in Chicago. It was organized at the Cook County hospital in Chicago. After this first majorblood drive they began to grow throughout the country. Blood drives began growing in earnestwith the return of physicians who had seen the effectiveness of transfusion therapy on the front
Hochadel 2lines in World War II. In 1953 the plastic bag was introduced to the blood drive industry. Invent-ed by the Fenwal Company, the plastic bag made it more practical to treat specific problems byseparating and using the blood’s various components. In 1962 seven community-based centerscame together with the help of local hospitals and physicians and formed the American BloodCenters (History of Blood Banking). Blood drives are held all around the world. Sixty percent of the US donates blood, butonly thirty-seven percent of the blood that is donated is eligible to be used. Donating blood isvery easy and just one pint of blood could save up to three people’s lives. Before donating blood,one should eat a healthy dinner the night before. Upon arrival, donors will be directed to a regis-tration area. The next station is the mini-physical; here nurses will check body temperature,pulse, blood pressure, and hemoglobin level. The third station is the donation; here a certifiednurse will cleanse the area on the arm where the blood will be taken. The nurse will insert abrand new sterile needle for the blood draw. This feels like a quick pinch and will be over in afew seconds. The actual donation takes about eight to ten minutes, during which donators will beseated comfortably. Certain donation types, such as platelets, red cells, or plasma can take up to 2hours. After sitting for a relaxing 8 minutes, donators will have filled a bag with approximatelyone pint of blood. Finally, after the donation one should have a snack and something to drink inthe refreshments area. After 10 minuets donators are able to leave the site and enjoy the feelingof accomplishment knowing that they have saved lives (Donating Process). When donating blood there are very few side effects. If you follow all the donation guide-lines there should be little to know problems. However sweating, chills, and nausea are prettycommon side effects that could happen to anyone. The side effects are temporary and subside ina day or two. If the effects progress or get worst see a doctor.
Hochadel 3 Safety is the most important priority when giving and receiving blood. The precautionshave changed since blood donating first started. When blood banking began back in the 1600sthey did not know about AIDS and HIV. Many of the people that donated blood back then diedfrom it. The risk of transmitting infectious diseases to recipients as been greatly reduced due totoday’s multitiered donor screening system. During the blood-donating process, hypovolemic re-actions may occur due to a rapid change in blood pressure; fainting is generally the worst prob-lem when these reactions happen. Bruising of the arm where the needle is inserted is also a con-cern; however less than one percent of donors come across this problem. A few other minor com-plications include arterial puncture, delayed bleeding, nerve irritation, nerve injury, tendon in-jury, thrombophlebitis, and allergic reactions, though these problems are not common. After the donation process, testing is done on each donation to detect various complica-tions, such as HIV and hepatitis. If there is any abnormal laboratory results, the results will beshared with the donor. If the blood comes back clean and free of any problems it is processedinto components (red blood cells, platelets, and plasma). After processing, the red blood cells canbe kept up to forty-two days, platelets can be stored for five days, and plasma can be storedfrozen for up to one year. The limited storage time means that it is difficult to have a stockpile ofblood to prepare for a disaster. Blood centers in the United States often have difficulty maintain-ing even a three day supply for routine transfusion demands. The World Health Organization rec-ognizes World Donor Day on June fourteenth each year to promote blood donation. June four-teenth is the Birthday of Karl Landstenier, the scientist who discovered the ABO blood groupsystem. There are four blood-types: A, B, AB, and O. A blood type is the classification of bloodbased on the presence or absence of inherited antigenic substances on the surface of the red
Hochadel 4blood cells. These antigens can be proteins, carbohydrates or glycosides(Donating Blood isSweet). Ninety-eight percent of American citizens drive nearly everyday. Every five-seconds anautomobile accident occurs and in these accidents one out of every thirteen people die. Most peo-ple that are involved in a tragic car accidents need some type of blood transfusion. In the event ofan automobile accident where a victim requires a transfusion, the victim is promptly rushed tothe nearest hospital where the operation can take place. In most cases, hospitals have a stock pileof a variety of blood types on site. In the case that the hospital does not have a matching bloodtype for the patient, blood-type O can be administered because it is universal and can be receivedby anyone. If for any reason the hospital does not have a supply of blood for the patient, theblood must be called in and immediately delivered from the nearest blood-bank or blood suppli-er. If it were not for events like blood drives, half of the people that survived a trauma injurywould not be living today. Over hundreds of years, the science of blood transfusions has developed a great deal. Intoday’s society, blood transfusions are a daily occurrence that require great care and knowledge.The most important key, however, to these lifesaving operations is the blood donated throughblood drives by generous donors. This is a gift that anyone can afford to give and should take thetime to give even if it is just once. Whatever your reason is for giving blood, the need for bloodis constant and your contribution is important for a healthy and reliable blood supply. And youwill feel good knowing you have helped changed or save a persons life. Life is a precious giftand millions of lives can be saved by a single pint of one person’s blood given at a simple localblood-drive.