blood donors age out
loyal high school students give
where are mid-life folks?
senryu by M. Nakazato LaFreniere
Loyal blood donors are badly needed. Almost 45% of blood donations come from people 50 years or older. Baby boomers are beginning to age out. Blood drives at high schools and colleges bring in a supply. The problem is that people in their 20s and 30s rarely give which is contributing to sporadic shortages in blood supplies as blood has a shelf life. Blood can only be stored for 4-6 weeks.
A few blood drives are getting innovative to bring in donors. Last summer, Pokemon Go players went to a New Jersey blood center. The movie makers of Jigsaw are sponsoring blood drives to coincide with their movie release.
Also a large shooting in the headlines can bring a lot of donors in as awareness temporarily blips with the need for blood. Problem is lines will go around the several blocks as thousands show up to donate. One person tweeted she had to wait seven hours to give blood to help Las Vegas victims.
Some people, of course, won’t wait that long. The donation centers would love for them to come back in six weeks when the binge donation blood has been used up or is too old to use. The problem with the feast-or-famine donations is that a crisis might collect a lot of blood but they still will need more in a few weeks after the blood is either consumed or is too old to use. During the summer there were a few critical blood shortage in various areas.
Weirdly, the FDA bans gay men from giving blood. There is no reason for it. Donated blood is screened to ensure it isn’t carrying infectious diseases no matter who you are or what you do.
Understandably people want to help when they know help is needed. Most people aren’t aware that the American Red Cross must collect 14,000 blood donations everyday for the 2,600 hospitals nationwide daily need. That’s not even when a crisis hits.
So if you’re not busy on November 14th or later, drop by a blood bank. They’re going to need you.
As loyal donors age, industry on lookout for young blood by JoNel Aleccia, Seattle Times, September 30, 2017
Why do people give blood after disasters, but not during blood drives? By Amy Ellis Nutt, Washington Post, October 4, 2017
Horror Film Launches Campaign Against Blood Donation Ban by Jessica Wakeman on October 5, Healthline, 2017