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Undocumented Immigrants Could Relieve National Shortage of Type O Blood — If They Were Allowed To

Undocumented Immigrants Could Relieve National Shortage of Type O Blood — If They Were Allowed To

LatinaLista — During this time when Latino immigrants, and some Latino citizens, are continuously being told that they are not needed or wanted in this county, it's nice to finally see some documentation that Latinos are not only wanted but are needed - badly.

It seems there is a severe nationwide shortage of blood, especially Type O.


National shortage of Type O blood.
(Source: donatebloodnow.org)

With all the winter storms and high demand for blood over the last month, hospitals around the country are finding themselves dangerously low on supplies.

The
href="http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=health&id=4942740">Red
Cross and other organizations
who conduct blood drives want to get the word out to everyone but especially Latinos that they need a lot of people to roll up their sleeves.

According to blood specialists, Latinos are the best source for Type O blood. Whereas 45% of members of other ethnic groups have this type blood, seventy percent (70%)
of Latinos have Type O.

What makes Type O so valuable is that Type O negative, a type especially in demand, is compatible with all blood types.

The
href="http://www.redcross.org/services/biomed/0,1082,0_320_,00.html">American
Red Cross
reports that every 2 seconds someone in the United States needs blood.

The Mayo Clinic and the America's Blood Centers reveal that:

Only 5 percent of eligible donors across the nation donate blood, but
the number of transfusions nationwide increases by 9 percent every year.

Blood donors can donate as frequently as every 56 days. A benefit from
donating this often is that you receive a mini-physical once every two
months.

Each whole blood donation can help as many as three
people. One unit is divided into three parts: red blood cells,
platelets, and plasma.

Whole blood donation only takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes.

On average, a hip replacement typically uses one unit of blood, a
cardiac bypass 2 units, a heart transplant 2 units, and a liver
transplant 10 units!

Blood cannot be manufactured. It can only come as a gift from people.

Every day in our country, approximately 39,000 units of blood are
required in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities for patients
with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients, and to
help save the lives of accident victims.


January is National Blood Donor Month

It's a little ironic, or rather alot ironic, that with such a widespread shortage, blood centers would refuse to let undocumented immigrants give blood.

I guess one argument would be that given the countries they come from,
they would be ineligible, but that would just be for one year.

Or another argument could be that since they're not supposed to be treated at hospitals, they shouldn't be asked to donate. But everyone knows that when there is a life-threatening emergency, more times than not, no one asks if they're legal, and they end up getting the hospital treatment they should.

By not allowing undocumented immigrants from giving blood is yet another example of how shortsighted and close-minded the government is — especially when 60% of people nationwide are eligible to give blood and only 5% actually do.

If people are healthy, willing to donate and have the blood that is in short supply, why shouldn't they be allowed to give back to this country and donate?

As Winston Churchill once said:

“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”

Sometimes, that just has to be enough.

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