Michael Johnson, with United Blood Services, talks with Our Ventura TV host, Bob Taylor, about different types of blood donations.
Johnson answers a number of questions about blood donations, including how long our nation’s donated blood supply would last if there were no more blood donations and when does donated blood expire?
The fundamentals of blood donation are based upon volunteers providing their blood so that it can be used to help someone else. Typical uses of donated blood include helping people who have lost blood in an accident or who have an illness that requires blood.
Donated blood includes red blood cells and the other things that make up the blood, such as platelets and plasma. Blood that contains all the parts is called whole blood.
United Blood Services is a component of their parent company, Blood Systems.
They are the second largest blood provider to the United States, second to the Red Cross.
Their non-profit community blood centers include United Blood Services as well as Blood Centers of the Pacific and Inland Northwest Blood Center. They provide blood, blood components and special services to patients in more than 500 hospitals in 18 states, from California to the Gulf Coast to the Canadian border.
The amount of blood drawn and the methods vary. The collection can be done manually or with automated equipment that only takes specific portions of the blood. Most of the components of blood used for transfusions have a short shelf life, and maintaining a constant supply is an ongoing problem.
The donor is also examined and asked specific questions about their medical history to make sure that donating blood is not hazardous to their health.
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