Donating blood is one of the most common ways people choose to give back to their communities, and the demand for blood in hospitals is always high. Despite the high demand and the general recognition of its importance, only about a fourth of the people who are able to donate blood do.
Many people are not aware of just how important blood donations can be. Approximately one of every seven people admitted to the hospital need blood. Many different people experiencing a large range of conditions require blood provided through donation. Some examples of patients who may need blood are
- Cancer patients
- Patients with anemia
- mothers experiencing labor complications
- people involved in an accident
There are several blood types, and the rarer ones are always in higher demand. One of the rarest types of blood, O negative, can be given to patients of any blood type, so donations of O negative blood are especially needed.
If you do not know what blood type you are, it may be helpful to find out. If your blood type is rare, your blood donation would be especially appreciated. However, all donations – no matter the type – are always needed and valued.
How can I give blood?
If you have never donated blood before, there are a few things that are helpful to know about the process.
- Be sure to have eaten a light meal, and make sure you are well hydrated. Some people experience lightheadedness during or after giving blood. Making sure your body has plenty of fluids and some nutrients may help prevent this.
- Bring a list of any medications you currently take, your driver’s license, and a donor card if you have one.
- Go through registration. This usually just involves verifying that your contact information is correct. You may also be asked a few general health-related questions to ensure that you are healthy enough to give blood.
- You’ll have a quick check-up. Before you give blood, you will have your temperature, pulse, and blood pressure checked.
- It’s time to give blood! Now you are ready to donate your blood. A sterile needle will be used to draw your blood, and it should take around ten minutes.
- You may be given some refreshments. Often, blood donors are given a light snack and drink. You’ll be asked to sit and rest for a few minutes to make sure that you feel no lightheadedness. Within fifteen minutes, you should be good to go continue on with the rest of your day.
Almost everyone is eligible to give blood. However, there are a few select circumstances where a person may be unable to give blood. If any of the following apply to you, you may need to wait to donate blood:
- If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms
- If you have recently treated an infection with antibiotics
- If you have had a tattoo or piercing within the last four months
- If you weigh less than 110 pounds
Most of these circumstances do no prevent you from donating blood entirely; they may just require that you wait for some time before you become eligible to give blood.
Cordele will be hosting its very own blood drive at Crisp Regional Hospital on Monday, May 14th from 9:30 am to 5:30 PM. The City of Cordele 5th Annual Badgers for Life Blood Drive will be held in honor and memory of Marty Trail and Tyler Parker.
Blood donors will receive:
- A free Badgers for Life T-shirt
- A free wellness checkup including blood pressure, temperature, pulse, iron count, and cholesterol screening.
If you have any questions, or if you would like more information, call 1-888-9-DONATE. Additionally, you can make an appointment by visiting oneblood.org.