You Have What it Takes to Save a Life
Grace Weatherby
/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2023

You Have What it Takes to Save a Life

On June 14th, the World Health Organization will be marking World Blood Donor Day. While the event is  global, the need for donations in the U.S. and locally is very real.

Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood and or platelets. Blood and platelets cannot be manufactured; they can only come from volunteer donors, which is why donations are truly lifesaving.  In fact, one donation can help save more than one life.

Doctors and healthcare facilities rely on blood donations to replace blood lost during surgeries or due to serious injuries from car crashes or natural disasters. In addition, individuals with illnesses that causes anemia, such as leukemia or kidney disease, are often the recipients of blood transfusions. Plus, blood is critical to restoring blood cell count levels for many of the million-plus people who undergo chemotherapy every year and for the nearly 100,000 people who have sickle cell anemia.

While 38% of the American population is eligible to give blood, only 2% actually donates. Compounding the challenge of keeping up with demand is the fact that red blood cells must be used within 42 days (or less) and platelets with just 5 days. The need is real, and the demand is ongoing.

For those who’ve never given blood before, here are few facts that may help you choose to give:

  • The entire process from check-in to departure is approximately 1-hour with the actual ‘donation’ taking an average of eight to 10 minutes.
  • You are welcome to be seated or to lie down during your donation time, however you’re most comfortable.
  • Donors often read, listen to music, or engage with their phones during donation time.
  • Every donor undergoes a mini-physical prior to donating to ensure they are healthy enough to donate that day. The physical includes a check of your temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and hemoglobin.

And don’t worry if you don’t know your blood type. All types of blood are valuable and needed.

If you’re ready to help save a life, click here to find a blood drive near you.

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