As Baby Boomers age out of blood donation, younger generations need to help fill the void.
Although the process of blood donation and transfusion was discovered in the 1600’s, widespread civilian blood donation became popular during World War II. According to the American Red Cross, 13 million pints were collected for the war effort. And children of this era learned of how significant blood product was for our troops and war effort. Baby Boomers incorporated routine blood donation as part of their culture.
Yet as Baby Boomers age are the younger generations picking up the slack?
According to James AuBuchon, president and chief executive of Bloodworks Northwest, “The older generations seemed to have internalized the message that we always have to have an adequate supply of blood on the shelves.” He continues, “The younger generations just seem less wired toward that message.”
Blood banks have, however, made some progress recruiting younger individuals as many are beginning to donate blood on high school and college campuses.
According to USA Today:
20% of blood donations come from the youngest of age groups 16-18 and 19-22.
Less than 10% of blood donations come from 23-29 year olds.
Less than 12% of blood donations come from those in their 30’s.
This year, the active hurricane season has hampered blood collection efforts.
As long as you are over 17 years old (16 with the consent of parent) and weigh above 110 lbs, you may qualify for blood donation. The blood bank will screen you prior to donation.
One pint of blood can help save up to three lives. Thank you so much for your support!!
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Daliah Wachs is a guest contributor to GCN news. Doctor Wachs is an MD, FAAFP and a Board Certified Family Physician. The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.
In 2015, GCN’s very own Dr. Daliah Wachs contacted Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval to create a Nevada Blood Donation day to help the state raise blood and awareness. From Wikipedia:
“Uniting with United Blood Services and the American Red Cross, Nevada Blood Donation Day held blood drives across the state and its success prompted the campaign to continue in 2016. During this year, blood shortages were being reported nationally. Dr. Daliah approached Governors in all 50 states to help proclaim state blood donation days, and United Blood Services, the American Red Cross and blood banks across the US joined forces to help bring this national campaign to light. By September 2016, the majority of states had proclaimed state blood donation days.”
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, National Blood Donation Week (NBDW) has been declared for September 4th - 10th with most states adopting Friday the 8th as their State’s National Blood Donation Day.
Dr. Dahlia writes, “It’s been amazing seeing both Democratic and Republican governors unite, following Governor Sandoval's lead. We're hoping to bring in thousands of pints of blood throughout the country. Thank you!!”
Research shows that one pint of blood can save up to three lives. To find a blood drive near you go to the American Red Cross “Find a Drive” link here.
And if one pint of blood has the potential to save three lives. Imagine what the whole country can do.
The Category 4 hurricane that hit southeast Texas Friday evening is expected to cause “widespread devastation” to the area.
Torrential downpours are expected to continue as power outages, floods, raging waters, and the potential for tornadoes threaten coastal and inland residents.
Hurricane Harvey, although weakening, is expected to hover over the next few days bringing more deadly conditions.
After the initial flooding and torrential downpour subside, Hurricane Harvey will put thousands of residents at risk for major health issues.
In addition to drowning, falls and other deadly injuries, victims of Harvey may endure the following:
Many of those who did prepare for the storm may not have stored plenty of food, especially healthy fresh food. Those trapped in their homes may find the food they did store contaminated by flood water.
The World Health Organization states that floods bring water borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, leptospirosis and Hepatitis A. Vector borne diseases include Zika, malaria, dengue hemorrhagic fever, yellow fever, and West Nile.
Mosquitos initially get washed away during the storm, but the resulting puddles of water take weeks to dry and make ideal breeding grounds for insects.
The water gets dirty pretty quickly. People touching the flood water need to wash their hands thoroughly before eating or preparing food.
Moreover due to the moisture that seeped into walls and floors of houses, mold can grow and cause a variety of respiratory issues among other physical ailments. Massive disinfecting needs to take place before coming home to flood water contaminated residencies.
Chemicals from garages and fuel seeping into flood water expose victims to many compounds such as benzene, toluene and xylene that can cause a multitude of health effects including those that affect breathing, skin, the gut, balance, thought, and memory.
When one loses their home, neighborhood, income, treasured belongings and more, it’s devastating. Post traumatic stress disorder may ensue.
To combat these risks, medical personnel and the CDC are preparing. Among food, shelter and clothes, paper products, sanitizer, cleaning supplies, tetanus vaccinations and counselors will be needed in mass quantities.
Blood supplies will be needed as residents who routinely donate have evacuated the area. Donating blood at your local blood bank may be shipped to the area in need.
United Blood Services have locations throughout the country that can accept your blood Donation. Contact UBS here.
The American Red Cross is accepting donations. On their website, they ask to visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
The Salvation Army is also accepting donations online and by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769).
The Red Cross and Salvation Army may also need local volunteers to help set up shelters. Contact the above numbers.
Local volunteers are asked to donate supplies to nearby recreation centers housing evacuees.
Supply drives in out-of-state locations may not be accepted directly but could help local charities who need to ship supplies to the affected area.