Mercer Islanders donate blood during drive at high school

The blood drive held last month at Mercer Island High School yielded 47 units of blood, making 146 units the total amount donated at the high school in 2012-2013.

During the previous school year, 2011-2012, 150 units were collected. 219 units were received in 2010-2011, and 149 in 2009-2010.

In addition to the high school, the Puget Sound Blood Center also holds blood drives at the Mercer Island Covenant Church and the Stroum Jewish Community Center.

According to David A. Larsen, the director of communications for PSBC, the agency holds between a dozen and 14 drives each year on the Island, for an average of 460 units per year.

The Puget Sound Blood Center has a list of facts that illustrate the importance of blood donations in the United States.

First and foremost, blood cannot be manufactured. It can only come from donors.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

More than 44,000 blood donations are needed every day.

The blood used in an emergency must already be on shelves before the event occurs.

The blood type most often requested by hospitals is Type O.

Sickle cell disease affects more than 80,000 people in the U.S., 98 percent of whom are African American. Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.

More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.

A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.

The number of blood donations collected in the U.S. in a year: 16 million (2006).

The number of blood donors in the U.S. in a year: 9.5 million (2006).

The number of patients who receive blood in the U.S. in a year: 5 million (2006).

Share of the U.S. population eligible to give blood: Less than 38 percent.

Type O-negative blood (red cells) can be transfused to patients of all blood types. It is always in great demand and often in short supply.

Type AB-positive plasma can be transfused to patients of all other blood types. AB plasma is also usually in short supply.

For information on how, when and where to donate blood, go to

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