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Red Gold - the epic story of blood Blood Journey: Phase 5: The Transfusion
Blood Journey Blood History Blood Basics Innovators and Pioneers Education Ask the Experts
Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Phase 5 Phase 6

Doctors performing transfusion

Reaching its destination, blood saves lives every day
Approximately 20,000,000 blood components are transfused annually throughout the United States. This total exceeds the actual number of blood units donated, for each donation can be separated into its three main component parts: red blood cells, which are the oxygen-delivering cells; platelets, which are clot-forming cells; and plasma, the non-cellular portion of blood that contains clotting factors.

Geoffrey Berry

Geoffrey Berry, one of the earliest regular donors, describes transfusion results.
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Tubes carrying blood
Then:In the 1980s, thousands of people in the United States contracted HIV through blood transfusions or tainted Factor VIII concentrate.

Now:The HIV risk in the United States is less than one out of every million units of blood collected.
Twenty million is an impressive number, and it reflects the substantial needs of a population. Surgery, trauma, chemotherapy, and treatment of blood diseases are among the clinical procedures that demand blood transfusions. While advances in medical science have reduced the need for transfusion in certain types of surgery, in many cases transfusion is the only option for survival.
Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood.
Once donated blood has been tested and stored, it is distributed for use, generally in hospitals. The staff assesses its blood supply and needs and plans accordingly, which is not always simple; in recent years, many hospitals have reported sometimes having to postpone surgery due to lack of blood. But when blood is available, which it usually is, it is put to proper use. The ideal result is a transfusion and a life saved.
Machine charting blood Article: Blood bags Article:
Who Needs Transfusions?
Details on the transfusion process.

Blood Typing
Learn more about the discovery that has changed the world.

Continue to Phase 6: The Results

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