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Many people are aware of how vital blood donation is to human life. As the force that literally drives us to stay alive, without it we have no chance of sustainability. It nourishes our organs and is the fluid that allows us to keep moving. So what happens when someone is in accident and loses a considerable amount of blood? Our bodies can only produce blood so quickly, so in these extreme instances, blood transfusions may be needed in order to keep someone alive. Of course any donation of blood from any blood type saves lives, but not everyone can receive every type of blood. This is why rare blood donors must understand how important they really are when it comes to donating.
Every three seconds someone in the United States needs blood. Whether an accident has occurred, someone is undergoing heart surgery or an organ transplant, or there are complications during labor – these are all situations in which the only hope for survival might be a blood transfusion.
For rare blood donors, this becomes even more critical. Some people have unusual blood group antibodies, so the type of blood they would need to receive is extremely difficult to come by. As a rare blood donor, you could be someone’s only hope – especially in a situation where the patient requires frequent transfusions.
What Does It Mean To Be A Rare Blood Donor?
Some rare blood types only occur in 1 in 5,000 people, and some are unique to ethnicity. After you donate, if you are identified as having a rare blood type, you will be contacted and asked to register with the American Rare Donor Program.
Because having a rare blood type is a genetic difference, it may be found in your family members as well. Your siblings are more likely to have the same type as you, so encourage them to donate as well!
If you’re a rare blood donor, it’s so important to donate regularly. Blood can be specially frozen and stored for up to ten years. If you’re donating regularly and someone with your blood type needs a transfusion immediately, the blood is already ready to go for him or her.
It’s also so important to understand what blood types you’re able to donate to. O negative is the universal donor, meaning they can provide absolutely any blood type with their red blood cells, and they only account for about 8% of all people. If you have O negative blood, you could actually save 100% of the population.
Take The Leap
Whatever blood type you have, you’re saving lives by donating, and you’re eligible to donate every 56 days. Donating a single pint of blood can save up to three lives, so it really doesn’t take much to make a difference. If you’re not sure if your blood type is rare, donate and find out today! If you know you have a rare blood type, consider making donating a regular occurrence, and help give someone the life they deserve.