Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Give So Others May Live

Every three seconds someone, somewhere, needs a blood transfusion!

Today my husband and I donated blood. We have been doing this since our college days. My husband is working on his 3rd gallon and I have completed my 2nd gallon of donated blood. We try to donate every 56 days or when we can.

I want to tell everyone who is eligible to donate to do so. Your one pint of blood can save up to three people. Giving blood is good for you. Before you donate you have a mini checkup...blood pressure check, iron check, temperature and pulse rate. Your blood will be checked for cholesterol levels and you will get that number later in the mail. A mini checkup without the co-pay!

Giving blood is beneficial for men. It cuts down the chances of heart attack and stroke. This was explained to me by the phlebotomist. He used the analogy of an oil change in a car. The car runs better when the oil is changed every 3,000 miles or so. A blood donation causes the body to create new red blood cells to replace those taken through the donation. Nature has given women a monthly "oil change".

Who can donate? Any healthy, 110+ pound adult. There is no discomfort during donation and just a slight sting from the needle at the beginning. Just think of the lives you are saving during the needle stick. You have 10 to 12 pints of blood in your body. Whole blood donation takes just one of those pints which weighs about one pound. The whole blood donation process takes about 5-10 minutes. The entire process, from registration to post-donation refreshments (cookies and juice, yum!), takes about an hour.

People with O negative blood are known as "universal donors". In an emergency anyone can accept O negative blood. My husband and I both have O positive like 37 % of the population. The rarest blood type is AB negative, but ALL blood types are needed.

I cannot stress enough to those who can donate, to please do so. No, I am not being paid by the blood centers...I believe it is our duty to help in this capacity if we are able. Remember, your one pint of blood can help up to three people and you never know when you or someone you love may need a blood transfusion.

1 comment:

  1. I also donate blood when I can. kit