Blood donation is the backbone of transfusion medicine. AABB and the entire transfusion medicine community owe a debt of gratitude to volunteer donors, without whom there would be no blood or blood components when patients need them. Patients may receive a blood transfusion for a wide variety of reasons: blood disorders, like hemophilia, sickle cell disease or thalassemia; cancer treatments that disrupt blood’s ability to deliver oxygen to the body; hemorrhage due to traumatic injury or childbirth; and to help recovery following a surgery. For individuals with conditions such as these, a blood transfusion can be life-saving. Blood donors truly give patients the gift of life.
More than a single event, donation is a process that begins when a prospective donor locates a blood bank and makes an appointment to donate and ends after the donation when the donor receives refreshments in a canteen area and the blood is taken to a lab to be tested for ABO group and Rh type, screened for certain infections and processed into components as needed.
This section provides important information for everyone who is interested in learning more about blood donation, including blood center staff, prospective donors, patients who may need a transfusion and the general public.