This is what happens to your blood when you donate

12 News and United Blood Services have teamed up to bring the Saving Arizona Blood Drive.

The process of donating blood takes up about an hour of the donor's day, and only about 10 minutes of that are actually spent giving blood. 

Once a donor leaves the building, technicians spend hours processing the blood to make it available for saving lives.

You may not realize that a single donation can save up to three lives.

One way that the technicians at United Blood Services make the most of every donation is by getting plasma out of the blood through a specialized process.

While the blood goes to trauma and surgery patients, the plasma can go to someone else.

Doctors utilize plasma on patients who need it to help clot blood to stop internal bleeding. They also use plasma to treat burn patients.

Additionally, techs remove platelets from the blood. Those platelets are vital for cancer patients. This is because cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy cause damage to the cells that produce platelets. We all need platelets to stop bleeding once it has begun.

Sue Thew with United Blood Services said that many donations come from high school and college campus blood drives. When school is out in the summer, the donations stop coming.

She also pointed out that many donors go on vacation, especially for the Fourth of July making the coming week the most critical time to prevent blood shortages.

On Sunday, July 2 you can donate blood at the Tempe Center for the Arts at 700 W Rio Salado Pkwy in Tempe.

The blood drive is happening from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

One donor will win a Volkswagen Passat R-Line. Five-hundred donors will get a voucher for two free Arizona Diamondbacks game tickets. All guests will receive a coupon for free food from Whataburger.

You can cave time Sunday by making an appointment. Just click here to reserve a time.

If you're worried about what to do with your kids while you donate, don't worry! Volunteers from Phoenix Children's Hospital will be there to provide free childcare.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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