Blood Banking and Donation
Blood banking refers to the process of collecting, separating, and storing blood. The first U.S. blood bank was established in 1936. Today, blood banks collect blood and separate it into its various components so they can be used most effectively according to the needs of the patient. Red blood cells carry oxygen, platelets help the blood clot, and plasma has specific proteins that allow proper regulation of coagulation and healing. Although research has yielded drugs that help people’s bone marrow produce new blood cells more rapidly, the body’s response time can still take weeks, thus donated blood remains an important and more immediate life-saving resource.
Blood is the vital connection to having a healthy body, and according to the American Red Cross, nearly 5 million people receive blood transfusions each year. Thanks to years of research, much progress has been made towards making transfusions safer and more effective.
The U.S. blood system is dependent on donations, and new donors for blood are always needed.
To give blood, locate the blood center nearest you through:
- AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks)
Includes AABB-accredited centers (i.e., American Red Cross facilities, hospitals, and other blood centers)
- America’s Blood Centers
Includes community blood centers around the United States and Canada
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