About Blood

blood-pic2Everyone Has It… Everyone Needs It

This red liquid carries oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body, and carries carbon dioxide and other waste products back to the lungs, kidneys and liver for disposal. It fights against infection and helps heal wounds, so we can stay healthy.

There’s no substitute for blood. If people lose blood from surgery or injury or if their bodies can’t produce enough, there is only one place to turn — volunteer blood donors.

Blood History

In 1898, it was discovered that inherited differences in people’s red cells were the cause of many of the incompatibilities seen with transfusions. Four blood types were identified. During World War I, when human blood was needed for transfusions for wounded soldiers, studies of how to preserve and transport blood began.

Not until World War II, however, did the development of effective preservative solutions make blood transfusions widely and safely available. There have been many advances since then, including the discovery of additional types of blood such as the Rh positive and Rh negative classifications.

Today, thanks to these advances, full utilization is made of nearly every blood donation. Elements of blood can be separated by centrifuge. Plasma can be preserved by freezing. Each blood element can be used to treat different diseases.

Blood is now tested for diseases it may carry, and any blood testing positive for a disease is destroyed.

Millions of times each year in the United States, human blood is required to save the lives of people suffering from accidents and disease. There is no way to manufacture human blood outside the body. That is why the West Tennessee Regional Blood Center plays such a vital role in the healthcare of the our region.