How Your Donation Helps
Who Needs Blood
University Health supplies blood to tens of thousands of patients every year. The most serious cases may require dozens or even hundreds of units of blood and platelets.
These patients may have been involved in an auto accident or shooting, or suffered a severe burn or other serious trauma. To help these patients survive, we sometimes have to transfuse hundreds of blood products, including red blood cells, plasma and platelets.
Cancer not only requires difficult treatment, but also blood donations. Cancers like leukemia may decrease the body’s ability to produce red blood cells or platelets. Sometimes a patient’s cancer medication may inhibit their ability to make red blood cells and platelets.
High-risk pregnancy patients
Some women have a high chance of bleeding during labor and delivery, and your blood donation can help save a mother’s life. In the worst cases, patients have needed hundreds of units of blood, sometimes as much as a serious trauma patient.
Liver transplant patients
The typical liver transplant patient needs six units of red blood cells, six units of plasma and three units of platelets. To put that in perspective, it requires at least six donors to support the needs of a typical liver transplant patient. In a serious case where a patient suffers a bleeding problem, the patient may need the generosity of 40 to 50 donors to survive.
Patients undergoing orthopedic procedures, cardiothoracic procedures or other treatments also rely on the generosity of our blood donors to help them survive.