General Donation Facts

  • The average adult has 10-12 pints of blood.
  • Someone needs blood every two seconds in the U.S.
  • 40,000 pints: Amount of donated blood used each day in the U.S. and Canada
  • Through a process of separating blood into its individual parts, a single unit of blood can help extend the lives of as many as three people.
  • After blood is drawn, at least 12 tests are performed on each donation to ensure safe blood is available.
  • In an emergency seconds count. The testing process takes up to two days. This is why it is the blood on the shelf ready to go that save lives.
  • There is no substitute for blood, when a patient requires blood, there is only one source - a blood donor.
  • You are able to donate whole blood and red cell + plasma apheresis every eight weeks.
  • You are able to donate platelet apheresis every two weeks.
  • You are able to donate red cell aphereisis every 16 weeks.

How Common is My Type

  • 39% are O positive
  • 31% are A positive
  • 9% are B positive
  • 9% are O negative
  • 6% are A negative
  • 3% are AB postive
  • 2% are B negative
  • 1% are AB negative

Things You May Not Know...

  • O positive donors are needed more frequently than any other blood type. O positive is the most common blood type and most likely to be transfused.
  • O negative donors are the “Universal Donor.” People with O negative blood are universal red blood cell donors. This means that their red blood cells can be transfused to any blood type.
  • AB positive donors are the “Universal Recipient.” People with this type of blood are universal red blood cell recipients. Thus, they can be transfused with any blood type in emergency situations.
  • People with blood type AB negative and AB positive are universal plasma donors. This means their plasma can be transfused to all blood types.

Who discovered that there are different blood types? Dr. Karl Landsteiner first identified the major human blood groups; A, B, and O in 1901.

How does my body replace the blood I donated? Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma, and platelets.

Why does our community need to have so much blood on hand? About one in seven people entering a hospital need blood. Once collected it takes nearly 48 hours before a donation is available for transfusion. It is the blood that has been tested that saves lives. In an emergency the blood must be there, ready to be transfused.

Since my blood type is very common is it important for me to donate? Yes. Actually the blood types that are most common are most needed. O positive and A positive are the most common blood types and make up nearly 75 percent of the population. Statistically the patient in the hospital is most likely O positive or A positive.

Why do I have to wait 56 days to donate again? Although you replace the fluid in hours, it may take as long as 56 days for your body to replenish the red blood cells.

Why are platelet donors in such high demand? Transplant and trauma patients, as well as patients undergoing open-heart surgery may require platelet transfusions. However, the majority of platelets are used by cancer patients. Platelets only have a shelf life of five days, with two days needed for testing.

Which Rh factor is most needed, Rh positive or Rh negative? Both, 85 percent of the population is Rh positive, which means more Rh positive donors are needed. While fewer people have Rh negative blood, there are fewer donors to provide this type when needed.

How much blood is needed to save a life? The amount of blood needed depends on the patient’s underlying medical condition and reason for transfusion. The average blood transfusion is 2.7 pints.

Who receives the blood I donate? The Nebraska Community Blood Bank provides blood to hospitals and transfusion centers in Lancaster, Seward, Saline, Polk, Jefferson, and York counties. Your
donation today could save the life of a family member, neighbor or a co-worker. The blood you give here helps patients who live here.

How long can Red Blood Cells be stored? A maximum of 42 days. However, they are usually on their way to a patient in 7-10 days.

What are three components of blood? Plasma, platelets, and red cells.


What You Should Know About Donating Blood.

Become a Blood Donor.

Each time you donate blood, you give a very generous gift that will make a difference for as many as three people. It’s a feeling that money can’t buy.

It’s Simple.

There is no easier way to make a life saving difference in someone else’s life.

It’s Quick.

The actual whole blood donation takes about 10 minutes. The entire whole blood process from registration to cookies and juice takes about one hour. An Apheresis donation takes a little longer, but is well worth it.

It’s Safe.

You cannot become infected with HIV or any disease from donating blood. All of the supplies, including the needle, are sterile and used only once.

Donating Your Blood is Important and Rewarding.

Every time you donate blood, you may be saving up to three lives!

  1. Red Blood Cells: Benefit patients with a condition such as trauma, chronic anemia, or internal bleeding.
  2. Plasma: Benefits patients with severe liver disease, clotting deficiencies, or serious burns.
  3. Platelets: Benefit patients undergoing chemotherapy, or recovering from organ and bone marrow transplants.