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blood-1968458_1280My husband was a firefighter for several years and during those years, he many times saw the need that existed for blood donors.  He started donating then and has regularly for over 40 years.  Have you ever thought about becoming a blood donor?   What are some reasons that you might consider donating?

People donate for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a friend or family member will ask you to donate for a specific person. About three years ago, my niece’s baby girl was diagnosed with a rare blood disease.  She needed constant transfusions for several weeks to combat the illness.  Family and friends from around the country offered to donate and many were able to help. Those who did not have the correct blood type or who lived to far away were encouraged to donate anyway to help someone else.

Some people just do it because they feel it is the right thing to do.  It is their way of giving back or paying forward.

Whatever the reason, the need is constant. It is important to help guarantee a safe, reliable source of blood for those needing a donation.  In order to donate, most states have the requirements that:

  • You are at least 17 years old
  • You weigh at least 110 lbs.
  • You are in good health.

For those who have never donated, here is a brief outline of the procedure.  It usually takes about one hour of your time.

  • Registration – you will be given the basic information about blood donating including the eligibility to do so, read some information and show your identification card.
  • Mini Physical – you will privately answer a few questions about your health and then they will check your temperature, pulse, blood pressure and hemoglobin level present in a sample of blood.
  • Donation – the actual donation time is about 10 minutes – you will be seated comfortably and staff/volunteers will be available for any questions.
  • Refreshments -after donating, you should have a snack and something to drink in the refreshments area. You can leave the site after 10-15 minutes and continue with your normal daily activities.

After your blood is collected, it is tested for safety and the correct blood type to make sure the person receiving it is getting the safe blood that they need.

January is National Blood Donor Month as celebrated by the American Red Cross.  This month was chosen specifically because of the challenges that the cold weather present to having successful blood donation events.

If  you meet the requirements, feel healthy and would like to help others, make an appointment to donate blood this month. The good feeling that this will give you may encourage you to donate more often.

Please share a comment below if you are a blood donor and indicate why you donate. arc2012_logo_off

Writer: Marilyn Rabe, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension,  Pickaway County,  treber.1@osu.edu

Sources:

The American Red Cross (2015). Celebrate National Blood Donor Month http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Red-Cross-Celebrates-National-Blood-Donor-Month

Why Donate Blood (2018). https://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/why-donate-blood

Donating Blood – Topic Overview (2017). https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/tc/donating-blood-topic-overview#1

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