Saving three lives with just a pint of blood may seem ridiculous and implausible, but did you know there’s hard science behind this fact?
Human blood can be separated into three different components for the process of transfusion: red cells, platelets and plasma. When you give a whole blood donation, you’re giving all three components. After the blood is tested, the blood components are separated, and when patients receive a blood transfusion, they receive a certain number of units depending on the severity of their condition.
These three different components of your blood can treat various illnesses and conditions. The downside is that they have a short shelf life, so there’s always a need for blood drives to resupply. Red blood cells can be stored for up to 35 days, plasma can be stored for up to a year, while platelets can be stored for up to 7 days.
Donating blood is completely safe process. A sterile needle is used just once for each donor and then discarded after. Every blood donor is given a mini-physical test, checking the donor’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse and haemoglobin to ensure it is safe for the donor to give blood. The process of blood donation typically takes approximately less than 10-12 minutes. The entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, takes roughly an hour and 15 minutes.
When you donate whole blood, your red cells go to a trauma victim, your platelets to a cancer patient and your plasma to a burn victim. So think about donating your blood the next time you hear of a blood drive going on; three human lives for one pint of your blood sounds like a great deal!