August 31, 2014

Why Donate Blood?

I've never been afraid of needles or anything medical, I'm not woozy at the site of blood... I don't know why I have never donated blood before this week... but I'm so glad I did! I donated blood on Wednesday after class, partly because the incentive was a $10 Ikea gift card (selfish, much?), partly because I knew it was something on my 101 in 1001 days list and I wanted to check it off, and the last little bit of reasoning was because it's a nice thing to do. I was also pretty excited to find out my blood type, I'm sure this is something every other adult in the world knows about themselves - now I do too! I'm type A+, the second most common type in America.

Why should you donate blood?

Simply put, you can save a life. Blood transfusions are common practice in all hospitals and your blood can help keep others healthy. More than 4.5 million patients need blood transfusions each year in the U.S. and Canada, you can help be a part of saving that many lives - that's pretty amazing! Plus that life that needs saving could easily be yours or a family members, don't wait until that's the case - start donating and encourage others to do the same so that everyone has the chance to live!

Did you know there is a World Blood Donor Day?

 Well, there is... Sadly, it's already passed in 2014 but be sure to mark June 14th, 2015 on your calendars!

What's the blood donation process like?

It's actually pretty quick and simple. They ask you to take a little survey, give you a mini physical, start the donation, and then once it's over they have you hang out and have some refreshments before heading out. Hello cookies and juice, I felt like a happy little kid when they gave me my snacks!

What are the requirements to donate blood?

Surprisingly, there aren't many stipulations on who can donate blood. You must be in good health, over the age of 17 (or 16 with parental consent), and over 110lbs.

What will you feel like after donating blood?

I'm going to be honest, the whole experience afterwards wasn't the best. I felt perfectly fine once it was over with, but a few hours later I had a pretty rough time. Nothing too serious, I would definitely donate again - but I was nauseous and just kind of wanted to hang out on the couch and marathon watch tv on netflix.

Did you know blood types differ between ethnic groups?I had no idea, until researching blood donations more. 57 percent of the Latino population is type O, the blood type that is currently in the greatest demand. 51 percent of African Americans have type O, and only about 45 percent of Caucasians have type O blood. It is critical that more Latino and African American donors, give blood regularly to ensure that all type O patient needs can be met! I'm not trying to hit on a touchy subject by mentioning race, but my Latino and African American readers - please go donate, you may have type O blood, and it is in need! 

Where can you donate?

If you live in Florida, OneBlood is a great option. Red Cross is a nationwide option as well. Just get out there and donate, you won't regret it!

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