There’s a vital reason why blood clinics solicit for blood donations from the community: patients rely on blood donations to survive. Because blood has a shelf-life, hospitals require a constant source of the life-giving red liquid.
A 62-year-old Florida man has been answering the call for blood donations for 22 years, as of Monday, March 18. The Tavares man David Williams was recognized at the local donation center for a remarkable milestone: donating his 100th gallon of blood.
For the last two decades, Williams, a car mechanic by trade, has been taking time out of his schedule to visit the OneBlood Leesburg Donor Center every week or two for a two-hour sitting each time.
AMAZING!❤️ A 62-year-old man donated his 100th gallon of blood after 22 years of giving to OneBlood! https://t.co/pnmt6bIxB6
— News4JAX (@wjxt4) March 20, 2019
To mark the occasion, Williams accepted a birthday cake in his honor and posed for photos at the donation center.
According to OneBlood staff, their hospitals are in constant need of platelet donations. Many of Williams’s recipients were cancer patients undergoing treatment, Clickorlando reported. Donations are accepted from anyone over 16 years of age who weighs at least 110 pounds (approx. 50 kg) and has a valid photo ID.
What Are the Risks in Giving Blood?
Although donors are screened for both their own safety as well as the recipient’s, complications can still occur sometimes. Typically, these cases involve women, teenagers, or first-time donors. Due to rapid changes in blood pressure, hypovolemic reactions occur, meaning light-headedness or fainting at worst. A study by the Red Cross determined that 2 percent of donors experienced adverse reactions. Potential donors who are deemed prone to becoming anemic are ineligible to donate. Donors are usually kept onsite for 10 to 15 minutes after giving. Often, orange juice or cookies are offered to help them recover.
What Are the Benefits of Donating Blood?
In 1997, the World Health Organization set a goal for all blood donations to be received from unpaid volunteers. In 2006, only 49 of the 124 countries surveyed had met that goal. Many countries, such as Austria and Canada, still rely on paid donors to meet their supply needs. In the United Kingdom and Australia, however, paid donations are illegal. In the United States, blood donors are paid between $25 and $50 per donation.
Beyond monetary gains, though, red blood has a shelf life of just 35–42 days, making it difficult to stockpile to prepare for a disaster. After the September 11 attacks in the United States, the consensus was that collecting blood at the time of a disaster was not feasible. Instead, hospitals should try to maintain a constant supply at all times. This makes giving all the more vital for those who are in need; the rewards are not what we take but what we receive, and that is something we should all consider.
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