Quiz: The Generous Type

By the time you reach the end of this sentence, another person in the United States will need blood. It could be a car accident victim or a cancer patient going through chemotherapy. Blood and platelets cannot be manufactured, so the need for volunteers—even those who don’t like needles—is both urgent and ongoing. Take our quiz to learn how this lifesaving process flows:

1. In the U.S., about __ units of blood are needed every day.

A. 7,000
B. 10,000
C. 36,000
D. 65,000

2. The components of blood that patients need are the ___

A. Platelets
B. White blood cells
C. Red blood cells
D. Plasma
E. All of the above

3. To avoid a chance of transfusion-related infections, donated blood is carefully tested before being used to treat others.

A. True
B. False

4. There are four blood types (A, B, AB, O) which also have a Rhesus factor (Rh) that can be positive or negative. The Rh factor is determined by whether or not a certain protein lives on the surface of red blood cells, and determines who can receive blood from some donors. The most common type of blood is ___.

A. A negative
B. B positive
C. AB negative
D. O positive

5. Anyone who is not sick can give blood.

A. True
B. False

6. The people helped most by blood donations are patients suffering from ___.

A. Cancer
B. Trauma
C. Sickle cell
D. Accidental injury or burns
E. All of the above


1. C. 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed daily. The average red blood cell transfusion is about 3 units.

2. E. All of the above. One unit of blood can be broken into components and transfused to several people, depending on their need. Platelets help the blood clot, white blood cells help fight infection, and red blood cells carry oxygen to tissues. Plasma is the watery part of blood that serves several functions.

3. A. True. Donated blood is tested for Hepatitis viruses B and C, HIV, syphilis, and more. It is even tested for the West Nile virus. Also, donors cannot get infectious diseases when giving blood because new, sterile needles are used one time and discarded.

4. D. O positive blood is found in 39 percent of the U.S. population. The second most common type is A positive, found in 30 percent.

5. B. False. The person must be in good health, but there are additional criteria. Other basic requirements include being at least 17 years old (16 in some states), weighing at least 110 pounds, and not having donated within the last 8 weeks for standard donations.

6. E. All of the above. Blood donors help patients with several kinds of conditions and at any age.


Sources: The Health Library at www.sjchs.org and the American Red Cross at www.redcrossblood.org.


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