How Many People Donate Blood?

Although 60% of US citizens age 16 or older are medically fit to donate blood, only about 5% actually do so. There are some medical conditions that make people ineligible to give blood, such as hepatitis or pregnancy, but there is no upper age limit for blood donors, and individuals can donate blood as often as every 56 days. The need for blood transfusions in the US increases by about 9% each year, and one out of every five hospital patients requires blood. Medical professionals in the US use 32,000 pints (14,195 L) of blood each day in their work with patients.

More about blood donation:

  • In the US, donors of whole blood are not financially compensated, but some plasma donors receive payment. Many employers do, however, offer time off to workers who want to donate blood.

  • Donors typically spend about 45 minutes from the time they check into a donation center until the time they leave, but the donation itself takes only about 10 minutes.

  • The World Health Organization has established 14 June as World Blood Donor Day to draw attention to the need for people to donate blood. That date was chosen because it is the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, who created the ABO blood grouping system.

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Discussion Comments


The company I work for charges hospitals about $230 per unit of blood, but to give you the other side of that, it costs us about $170 to draw, process, store, and deliver that unit. This is a profit of $60 per unit of blood, that we turn around and reinvest into research or donor programs.

If you want to talk about someone profiting from illness, you need to look at how much the hospitals charge for that same unit of blood!


I donate blood platelets. It helps a people who suffer from blood clotting issues such as cancer patients and hemophiliacs. One can donate as often as every three days - up to 24 times per year. I usually give about every two weeks. The process takes about two hours and a machine similar to a kidney machine is used. The platelets are drawn and the rest of the blood is returned to the body. It's personally very rewarding.


The collectors get paid for it, but they also run tests on it for hiv, hepatitis, and many other problems. They spend money on needles, lines, bags and other disposable equipment to collect it from the donors. Money is spent for proper refrigeration and transport of the components of the blood.

When you need it, like I have, you don't care how much it costs. I never donated blood before an accident, but I gladly donate now when I can.


When you give free blood, how much do the collectors sell the blood for?

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