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Approximately 40,000 units of blood are used each day in the United States. One unit is about the equivalent of one pint.

There are many reasons why people may need blood. They might have been injured in an auto accident, as happened to Ellie. She needed 30 pints of blood! But other accident patients might need even more.
 
People who need a bone marrow transplant could easily require 20 units of blood and 120 units of platelets!

A person undergoing heart surgery could use 6 units of blood and 6 units of platelets.
 
And someone in need of an organ transplant might use as many as 40 units of blood, 30 units of platelets, 20 bags of cryoprecipitate and 25 units of fresh frozen plasma!
 
Blood centers often run short of type O and type B blood. Shortages of all types of blood occur during the summer and winter holidays.

Chris is a young man who knows how important it is for people to give blood. While in high school, he played football and went on long bike rides. And then, one day, all of a sudden, he started to feel badly.
 
"I was diagnosed with idiopathic dilated cardiomiopathy... which is when your heart becomes enlarged due to a virus. It was very serious. I was told I needed a heart transplant."
 
Chris' operation was a success, and as a token of his appreciation, Chris decided to hold a blood drive at his church as part of making Eagle Scout. "They were all very compassionate people and the blood drive was a great success." Without people who care, and, in my case, without people who wanted to be organ donors, you're looking at someone who wouldn't be here right now."

Tiffany requires frequent transfusions as a result of a blood disorder. "My condition is sickle cell anemia which is a blood disorder that causes your red blood cells to form into the shape of a banana and your veins to get smaller and sticky.
 
They say it gets worse as you get older. I'm only 15 and I've been in the hospital at least twice a month to get s transfusion. Without blood... if no one was donating blood... a lot of people in this world woudn't be living."
 
Jenny has a rare bone cancer called Ewings Sarcoma.

"I've had at least 40 blood transfusions... at least. By donating blood, you're almost giving somebody another life. I mean, if you can't produce your own blood, you can die.
 
So by getting other people's blood, it's like, they're keeping you alive. The way I figure it... I'm only 15 now, and I've got a good sixty or seventy years ahead of me... thanks to people who care."

Seth also had cancer and received blood transfusions as part of his medical therapy. "If there was no blood bank, the doctors couldn't do the type of cancer treatment they do today.

I've already gone through surgery and chemotherapy. The chemotherapy killed the tumor and shrunk it. And then I went into surgery and had the tumor removed.
 
"Facing a disease like this really makes you appreciate all the beautiful things in life."


So by getting other people's blood, it's like, they're keeping you alive. The way I figure it... I'm only 15 now, and I've got a good sixty or seventy years ahead of me... thanks to people who care.
Jenny,
— elementary school student
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