I Donated Blood and You Should Too
Yesterday we hosted a blood drive right outside our studios. First, we want to thank everyone who came out and donated blood. We had an awesome turn out.
I took time yesterday afternoon to do my part and donate.
The process is so simple and easy. This wasn't my first time donating, but it has been a couple of years. It doesn't take long at all and the pain is quite minimal and obsolete.
- A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.
- Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
- Although an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood at any given time, less than 10 percent of that eligible population actually do each year.
- The Red Cross supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood supply.
- Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the US.
- This past July the Red Cross announced a blood shortage. There were 61,000 fewer donations than needed.
You can donate platelets about ever 7 days, with a maximum of 24 donations per year. You can donate red blood cells every 56 days and a Power Red donation (2 units of red blood cells in one sitting) every 112 days. You can donate plasma every 28 days, with a maximum of 13 times a year.
I went online and went through their questionnaire before my scheduled time to expedite the process. When I went to donate they checked my pulse, BMI, blood pressure, and iron levels. To check my iron levels they do a very quick prick on your finger to draw a small blood sample. The prick it so fast, it's over in a blink of an eye.
Once they clear you for donation, they check your veins to find the most optimal. This allows them to insert the needle without any problems and speeds up the donation process. For me, they used a vein in my left arm and according to the woman was the vein that goes the fastest. Score!
It was well under 10 minutes for the donation itself. You lay down and roll an object in your hand. After a minute you no longer feel the sting from the needle and it doesn't hurt at all.
When you are done you get cookies! They had an assortment of snacks and water.
Some tips before you donate:
- Do the fast pass online! This will make the process go much smoother and quicker.
- Drink plenty of water beforehand. They are removing a pint of blood, you need to make sure you are well hydrated. It also helps them find a vein easier.
- Eat before you go. Some people may feel slightly lightheaded when they sit back up after donating. Eating before donation helps avoid this.
- Drink and eat after. Again, they are taking a pint of blood you need to make sure you stay hydrated.
Of course if you are not eligible to donate you can always donate money.