Every two seconds, a patient in the United States is in need of blood. In fact, about one of every seven people entering a hospital requires a blood transfusion. These startling statistics underscore the crucial nature of blood donation. Yet, only about 3% of the population currently gives blood. The number one reason these donors say they give is because they “want to help others.” This attitude of selfless giving supplies the 43,000 pints of donated blood used each day in North America.

There is no substitute for human blood. Over 4.5 million patients need blood transfusions each year in the United States and Canada. Many of these patients are among the most vulnerable in our hospitals – premature infants, children being treated for cancer and children having heart surgeries. Additionally, adult cancer and trauma patients may require platelet transfusions to survive. Some patients requiring life-saving organ transplants are tragically passed up for the procedure, even when the organ is available, due to a lack of compatible blood to support the transplant.

The actual donation process only takes about ten minutes, though you can expect to spend about an hour total at the donation center. Modern blood donation centers are manned by highly-trained professionals who are dedicated to your safety. You cannot contract AIDS or other infectious diseases through donating blood. Healthy adults can safely donate about a pint of blood every two months. Remarkably, it would only take one more percent of Americans donating blood for blood shortages to disappear.

Most of us lack formal medical training and don’t have many opportunities to help trauma victims and those with serious illnesses. But one pint of your blood can save up to three lives, making blood donation a unique chance to change multiple lives. It’s a selfless act that allows you to help others in an unforgettable way. PMI is pleased to announce that we will be holding a special blood drive in the month of August. More details will be coming, so please stay tuned for information on how you can participate.