Blood Donation Facts & Statistics

Did you know that one blood donation could save up to three lives? And because there is no substitute for blood, the need for blood donors is constant. We hope you find these blood donation facts helpful as you consider becoming a blood donor.

Blood-Donation-Facts-36,000 units of blood are needed every day

Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in U.S. hospitals. Patients across the U.S. require nearly 7,000 platelet units and 10,000 units of plasma every day.

Blood-Donation-Facts-Only 10% of those eligible actually donate

An estimated 38% of the U.S. population can donate blood, but less than 10% actually do.

Blood-Donation-Facts-Most donors are white males

The average blood donor is a college-educated, caucasian male between the ages of 30 and 50. However, diversity among blood donors is critical as some antigens are only found within certain ethnicities.

Blood-Donation-Facts-Platelets have a 5 day shelf live

Platelets have a five-day shelf life. Whole blood has a shelf life of up to 42 days.

Blood-Donation-Facts-Donors 65 and older make up 13% of the donor base

People who are 65 and older account for approximately 13% of the population, but they require 50% of all whole blood and red blood cells transfused.

Blood-Donation-Facts-Every 2 seconds someone needs blood

Every 2 seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. It could be someone you know.

More Blood Donation Facts

At Stanford Blood Center, we need to collect approximately 200 units of blood products per day to support our partner hospitals. We supply blood products to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, Stanford Health Care and other Bay Area hospitals.

Ready to learn more? Check out these additional pages about blood and blood donation:

Galen received many blood transfusions during treatment
Galen received a heart transplant and needed many units of blood
Lucille Packard Children's Hospital Stanford

Blood facts compiled using data from America’s Blood Centers and AABB.