Blood bank centers are set up around the country for individuals to come and donate. Donors will give their blood in order to help people who have an accident or need to undergo an emergency procedure. In order to donate blood, donors may need to meet certain prerequisites, including being a certain weight and at least 17 years old in most states. After donating, blood bank centers give individuals a snack and refreshment before they return to their normal activities. Below are some terms to become familiar with to have a better understanding of these centers.
Blood Transfusion - Blood transfusion is the transfer of blood from a donor to a recipient. This is a life saving procedure that replaces the blood cells lost after an accident.
Red Blood Cells - Red blood cells carry oxygen and contain hemoglobin. Hemoglobin gives blood its red color.
Blood Count - Blood count is the calculated number of red or white cells per cubic millimeter of blood.
Plasma - Plasma is the liquid part of the blood that contains antibodies and proteins, but is devoid of cells. Plasma is used to make medications for different types of blood related diseases and conditions.
Bone Marrow - Bone marrow is the tissue that surrounds the interior of bones. Marrow in adults is designed to produce new blood cells.
Hematology - Hematology is a branch of internal medicine that focuses on clinical work and the study of blood and diseases.
White Blood Cells - White blood cells make up the immune system and protect the body against diseases.
Stem Cells - Stem cells are different from other cells in that they can renew themselves through cell division and replace damage tissue.
Since the first blood bank was founded in the first world war, these sites have provided lifesaving blood and plasma to those in need of transfusions. While the blood banks themselves are typically located in a hospital setting, mobile donation centers allow interested donors to give blood in more convenient locations. The importance of these donations, and the proper management of the blood supply, is crucial to ensuring the health of patients who are undergoing transplants, surgeries and other types of medical procedures.
Typically, blood banks and centers do not perform transfusions or other treatments themselves. Instead, they accept donations of blood or plasma from healthy donors and test all donations to identify the blood type of the donor, as well as to ensure that they are not carrying any communicable diseases. This facility is often located within a hospital, which enables doctors quick access to stored supplies for use during organ or tissue transplants, heart surgeries and other procedures that require a great deal of blood. These facilities may also type individuals who are willing to join the bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell database, matching them with patients as the need arises.
For those who might be in need of a transfusion to treat chronic diseases like anemia or for one time situations, talking to your doctor about the availability of blood is the best way to get the information that you need. Interested donors can find schedules for local donation events both through their local hospital centers, as well as through nonprofit organizations that organize drives. Donors may also be able to get information about their blood types after they donate.
Blood banks exist to ensure that blood is available anytime a patient requires it.