Blood Donation: Millennials Needed

If more millennials step up to give, they can fill the gap left by aging baby boomers. See why their donations may move the needle.

Diagnostics Testing|Jun.12, 2019

Despite what you may have read (or heard) about millennials, they’re a generous lot. According to research by fundraising firm Blackbaud, millennials donate more goods and time to causes they believe in than any other generation, and their influence is already making the U.S. more charitable.

Millennials want to change the world for the better, and one area in need of urgent help is blood and plasma centers. Donating blood presents millennials with a largely untapped volunteer opportunity to help save lives and improve the health of their communities.

Read on to discover how this generation could shape the future of blood donation as we know it.

Every Blood Donation Has the Potential to Save Up to Three Lives

While technology is transforming every part of our lives – including health care – some life-saving essentials haven’t changed, including the constant need for blood to treat chronic illnesses, traumatic injuries and perform major medical operations.

In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. More than 117 million life-saving blood donations are made each year, yet many people requiring transfusions do not have access to safe blood when they need it.

With every donation, millennials (plus other donors) have the potential to save up to three lives.

Older Generations Make Up Disproportionate Share of Blood Donors

Historically, 45% of blood donations in the U.S. are from people 50 years of age and older. A large portion of these regular donors are baby boomers who are starting to reach an age when they develop health problems that make them ineligible to give blood.

A new survey from Abbott found that 12% of millennials surveyed say they are regularly donating blood. As that number grows, millennials can help ensure there is an adequate blood supply.

Insights Into Millennial Motivations

Abbott recently partnered with the global research firm YouGov to gather more insights into the motivations of blood donors. The survey of 2,723 U.S. adults revealed some of the things that would motivate millennials to donate:

  • 23% said they would donate if they knew someone who needed blood
  • 20% would donate if there was a special need specifically for their blood type
  • 18% said they'd be inspired if they could see the impact on someone's life

Abbott’s Role in Inspiring Younger Generations to Donate Blood

Abbott has partnered with donation centers around the world to screen blood and plasma, helping get it to those in need and helping people live longer, healthier lives. To inspire more people to regularly donate blood, Abbott launched the BE THE 1™ donor campaign to put the power of saving lives into their own hands.

"Millennials are known for wanting to positively impact global issues, and we are hoping to see that passion applied to donating blood," said Alexander Carterson, M.D., Ph.D., global medical director, Transfusion Medicine, Abbott. "If more millennials are inspired to donate regularly, they have the potential to make a significant impact in blood donation and in people's lives."

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