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JAMA Patient Page
May 21, 2008

Blood Donation

JAMA. 2008;299(19):2350. doi:10.1001/jama.299.19.2350

Blood is a living tissue made up of blood cells, platelets, and a fluid called plasma that contains protein and a number of other components. A blood transfusion is the administration of blood or blood components directly into the bloodstream. Every year, more than 4.5 million patients need blood transfusions in the United States and Canada. Someone needs blood on an average of every 2 seconds.

The May 21, 2008, issue of JAMA includes an article about blood donations by 16- and 17-year-olds. This Patient Page is based on one published in the April 17, 2002, issue of JAMA.

There are a few requirements for blood donors; however, most individuals are eligible to donate as often as every 8 weeks. To donate, you must