For all the advances in medical science, there is one thing science cannot artificially reproduce for humans: Blood. Like healthcare professionals, blood banks are critical to upholding the healthcare system. These crucial institutions ensure a stable supply of blood is available, when it is needed.
Today’s Fast CE for Less guide will explore the importance of blood banks, where and how to donate blood, the different types of blood banks, and the health factors that disqualify an individual from donating blood.
The Demand for Blood Supply
Blood from blood banks is critical to ensure the stability of care delivery nationwide. Donated blood is essential for surgeries, childbirth, treating traumatic injuries, various acute and chronic illnesses, and cancer treatment.
In the US, a person requires blood or platelets every two seconds, with approximately 29,000 units of red blood cells needed daily. Whether a patient receives a transfusion of whole blood, plasma, or platelets, life-saving care always starts with people donating their blood at blood banks.
Where to Donate Blood
Donating blood is an act of altruism in the purest form, and blood banks and donation centers nationwide help generous individuals willing to contribute to this life-saving cause. There are several places where you can donate blood, including:
- Community Blood Centers: Local blood centers are often the primary source of blood supply to hospitals in a community. These centers collect and distribute blood within a specific region, supporting hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
- Mobile Blood Drives: Various organizations like the American Red Cross often arrange blood drives to bring donation opportunities to people in various communities, workplaces, and events, especially during times of shortage of supply in blood banks.
- Hospital Blood Banks: Many hospitals maintain their own blood banks to ensure immediate access to blood for emergency cases in the hospital. Hospital-owned blood banks are crucial to ensure life-saving and timely blood transfusions.
Other Types of Blood Banks
Besides blood banks that allow people to donate blood for altruistic reasons, there are private blood banks and blood banks that offer to pay donors. For instance, CSL Plasma offers payments of up to $700 to donors. The company operates one of the world’s largest plasma collection networks for the purpose of delivering life-saving therapies to patients worldwide. Similarly, BioLife is an industry leader in providing plasma-derived therapies to patients. To reward people donating plasma to ensure it can continue life-saving plasma-based treatments, it pays them between $25 and $75 per donation, depending on bonuses and promotions at the individual donation center.
Private blood banks primarily store blood for patients for their own use for planned medical treatments or surgeries.
There are also blood banks that operate on a for-profit business model. These blood banks collect blood for pharmaceutical and research purposes, offering to compensate donors for their contributions. However, it is important to note that several states have regulations that prohibit, or limit paid blood donations to ensure the donated blood supply in the country can continue to meet the demand for transfusions.
When Can You Not Donate Blood?
It is important to understand that not everyone can donate blood. People with various health conditions or medical histories may be ineligible to donate blood. Some of the common disqualifying diagnoses for blood donation include:
- Individuals with HIV/AIDS
- People suffering from Hepatitis B and C
- Individuals who have received organ transplants
- People with major issues with their heart, lungs, kidneys, or livers
As a nurse, it is essential for you to educate your patients about blood banks and facts about donating blood. The more you learn, the better you can help your patients.
Maintaining your license is also essential to ensuring you can continue helping patients. If the time to renew your license is near, online nursing CEUs like those offered by Fast CE For Less can help. To access convenient, affordable, and flexible nursing continuing education courses compiled into bundles for license renewals, visit www.fastceforless.com.