Every single minute of each day in all 52 weeks of the year, someone needs blood that can only be obtained from a volunteer donor. Currently, very few people donate blood in America – approximately 3 individuals out of every 100 people. Even if you are afraid of needles, you can probably overcome this fear simply by thinking about the good that you are about to do.
How Can You Find Out Where You Can Go to Donate Blood?
The American Red Cross has a great advertising campaign. They put out newspaper ads and flyers all of the time listing the dates, times, and locations where you can donate your blood. You can also visit the website at redcrossblood.org or call the organization directly to find out the location closest to your work or home. Four donation types are needed, including whole blood, platelets, plasma, and double red cells. The number of times that you are permitted to donate within a single year’s time depends on the type of donation that you make.
Did You Know That When You Give Blood, You Really Can Save a Life?
Honestly, when you give blood, you can actually save the lives of three people as long as you are able to donate a full pint. Giving blood is one of the best ways that you can give back to society. Not only will it make you feel better knowing that you have helped to save a life, but you might even decide to sign up to volunteer to help work one of the local blood drives. You will also receive free cookies and juice after you have given blood.
Are You Eligible to Give Blood?
It’s important to make sure that you can give blood before you show up, unless you want to be disappointed or have to come back again. While you will undergo a screening involving several questions designed to ensure that you are suitable as a blood donor, knowing that you are beforehand can assuage your fears.
To give blood, you must:
• Be healthy (It is okay to have a medical condition such as diabetes as long as you are being properly treated for it. You will have to provide a list of all of your current medications, so be sure to bring it with you.)
• Be 17 years of age or older (Some states permit 16-year olds with parental permission to give blood).
• Weigh 110 pounds or more (Additional restrictions apply to donor who are 18 or younger.)
Tips for Successful Blood Donation
Hydrating yourself by drinking plenty of water at least 24 hours in advance speeds up the process, making it easy to locate a good vein. It is important to avoid eating foods that are high in fat content for 24 hours before you intend to make your donation. All donors are required to bring identification. You will need either your driver’s license or two other forms of identification. The entire process of giving blood takes approximately 45 minutes of your time from start to finish.