Protecting the Public Health: Blood Banks

We’ve all seen flyers for blood drives posted at our works, schools or communities. But, why are these events so important and why are there so many of them? This week we talked with Alisa Oslin to find out what goes into collecting, testing, and using donated blood.

During this series, we’d especially like to thank the Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics program here at Michigan State for their technical support of Speaking Science. The BLD program training future medical laboratory scientists and provides our studio space, recording support, and even the time our producer Jim Monahan donates to our program. Thank you BLD for supporting science outreach to the broader community!

Memorable Quotes

“So every two seconds, approximately, someone in the United States needs blood. That’s about 36,000 red cell units a day. So probably someone you know has had blood or will have blood in the future. Maybe it’s yourself, maybe it’s someone in your family. So there’s a lot of need for blood.”

“Red cells are good for about 42 days, platelets are good for about 5 days, so there’s a continual turnover of the blood supply.”

“We have to make sure the blood type of the unit that we’re going to transfuse is compatible with the blood type of patient.”


Want to participate in a local blood drive or learn more about transfusions? Check out the Red Cross resources.

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