FACTS ABOUT BLOOD DONATION IN THE U.S./JEHOVAH’S DOCTRINES ON BLOOD TRANSFUSION
In the ancient times the people
believed the blood to be the most important of the four body “humors” – the seat and source of the passions.
We sometimes say, “hot blooded” if a person is easily roused to anger, or “cold blooded” if a woman is ruthless and calculating. “Bad blood” is used to describe resentment and desire for revenge.
First Human Blood Transfusion Documented
France – 1667, Jean Baptiste Denis,
documented a direct human transfusion just 4o years after William Harvey discovered the circulatory system. These early direct donor-to-patient transfusions were often disastrous because it was not possible to predict donor-recipient blood type compatibility.
Chicago – 1936 – The first blood bank was organized at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital. Others were founded in all parts of the country during the next decade. when the physicians who had seen the effectiveness of transfusion therapy on the front lines in World War II, they began to demand that blood be made available for treatment of soldiers in the firing line and of their patients.
In 1953 – Blood banking gained a greater level of sophistication with the introduction of the plastic blood bag. Invented by the Fenwal Company, the plastic blood bag with its satellite bags made it more practical to treat specifics problems by separating and using the blood’s various components.
In 1915 – Richard Lewishon found that sodium citrate added to freshly drawn blood prevents clotting (coagulation). This discovery allowed blood collected from a donor to be stored for later transfusion to a patient.
The American Red Cross
In 1881, visionary leader, Clara Barton
founded the American Red Cross and has been the nation’s premier emergency response organization. As part of a worldwide movement that offers neutral humanitarian care to the victims of war and aid victims of devastating natural disasters.
A hot meal delivered to victims after a disaster, blood when it is need most, shelter when there is nowhere to turn, these are just some of the works of the American Red Cross.
Every minute of every day, someone needs blood. That blood can only come from a volunteer donor, a person like you who makes the choice to donate. The need is constant. The gratification is instant. Give Blood.
Facts about blood needs in the U. S.:
- Every two seconds someone in the US. needs blood.
- More than 38,ooo blood donations are needed everyday
- A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the U. S. (2006)
- The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints.
- The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O.
- The blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event occurs.
- Sickle cell disease affects more than 80,000 people in the U. S. 98 percent of whom are African American.
- More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, curing 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.
- Blood cannot be manufactured – it can only come from generous donors.
- Type O -negative blood (red cells) can be transfused to patients of al 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
JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES STAND ON BLOOD TRANSFUSION
Physicians face a special challenge in treating Jehovah’s Witnesses. Members of this faith have deep religious convictions against accepting homologous or autologous whole blood, packed RBCs (red blood cells), WBCs (white blood cells), or platelets. Many will allow the use of (non- blood-prime) heart-lung, dialysis, or similar equipment if the extracorporeal circulation is uninterrupted.
Physicians face a growing challenge that is a major health issue. There are over half a million Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States who do not accept blood transfusions.
Jehovah’s Witnesses accept medical and surgical treatment. In fact, scores of them are physicians, even surgeons. But Witnesses are deeply religious people who believe that blood transfusion is forbidden for them by Biblical passages such as: Genesis 9:3-4, Leviticus 9:13-14, Acts 15:19-21.
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Bible prohibits ingesting blood, and that this includes the storage and transfusion of blood, including in cases of medical emergency. This belief was introduced in 1945, and has been elaborated upon since then.
Jehovah’s Witness mother dies after refusing blood transfusion after giving birth to twins
By LIZ HULL, ANDY DOLAN and DAN NEWLING
Last updated at 22:26 05 November 2007
Emma Gough, 22, was able to hold her son and daughter after the natural delivery, but suffered a sudden haemorrhage and lost a great deal of blood.
As a Jehovah’s Witness, Mrs Gough had signed a form before the birth insisting that she should not be given blood.
Staff at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital begged her husband Anthony, 24, who is also a Jehovah’s Witness, and other relatives to allow the transfusion. But followers believe that blood transfusions are prohibited by the Bible and the family would not sanction the treatment.
Mrs Gough, a shop worker from Dawley, Telford, Shropshire, died early on October 25.
The twins are being cared for by their father, who yesterday led the mourners at his wife’s funeral.
Mr Gough said: “We are coping the best we can. There will be an inquest and issues will arise from that.”
The couple married on the Caribbean island of Barbados in December 2005 in a ceremony attended by 30 family members and friends.
At the time, Mrs Gough was a secretary working for her husband’s gas fitting and plumbing business.
Friends said the Goughs were teenage sweethearts and Emma had been “ecstatic” to learn she was expecting twins.