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Blood Uses

Blood and blood products are a critical part of everyday medical care, such as major surgeries and other medical procedures.

Specifically:

  • Red blood cells can be used to help accident victims, surgical patients and people with anaemia
  • Platelets can be used to treat leukemia and cancer patients
  • Plasma is effective in treating patients suffering from burns or shock
  • Cryoprecipitate, an additional component of blood, has been used to treat hemophilia and now other blood disorders

Blood transfusions are a critical element of:

  • Organ transplants
  • Cancer therapy
  • Heart surgery
  • Treatment for anaemia
  • Treatment for blood disorders
  • Resuscitation of trauma victims
  • Caring for premature infants

Would you like to become a donor?

How Much Blood Does it Take?

Different medical procedures require varying amounts of blood. For example:

  • Coronary Artery Bypass: 1-5 units
  • Fractured Hip/Joint Replacement: 2-5 units
  • Cardiovascular Surgery: 2-25 units
  • Bleeding Ulcer: 3-30 units
  • Brain Surgery: 4-10 units
  • Auto Accident/Gunshot wound: up to 50 units
  • Liver Transplant: up to 100 units
  • Other Organ Transplants: up to 10 units
  • Bone Marrow Transplant: up to 2 units per day
  • Sickle Cell: up to 4 units per month
  • Aplastic Anemia: up to 4 units per month
  • Cancer: up to 8 units per week

Source: America's Blood Centers (ABC)

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