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January: National Blood Donor Month

1032655989_216f19f270_mGiving Blood

Giving blood may be something that doesn’t generally cross your mind or may even make some of you cringe. Blood may not be a fun topic but it is a necessity for those in need of it. January is recognized by health professionals as National Blood Donor month and I wanted to take some time and remind everyone how important it is that we give blood.

Reasons for Giving Blood:

There are many reasons why people give blood including:
• Having a friend or family member who is in need of blood.
• Knowing you could be saving a life
• You receive a mini physical before they draw your blood where your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, and hemoglobin will all be checked.

There is no right or wrong reason to give blood and there is a continuous need for it.

Requirements for Giving Blood:

• You must be in good health; capable of normal activity
• Weigh a minimum of 110 lbs – Additional weight requirements apply for donors 18 years old and younger and all high school donors.
• Be at least 17 years old in most states, or 16 years old with parental consent if allowed by state law – see more information for 16-year old donors »

Requirements provided by http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements

The Donation Process:

1. While signing in you will be asked to fill out eligibility and donation information forms about donating blood and asked for ID

2. You will be interviewed privately about your medical and traveling history. Next you will receive a mini physical where your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, and hemoglobin will all be checked.

3. If you are giving blood the actual donation takes approximately 10 minutes. If you are donating platelets, red cells or plasma the donation can take up to two hours.

4. After you have donated a small snack will be provided for you to eat along with something to drink. You will be asked to stay for 10-15 minutes after donating so that they can monitor you and so that any light-headedness can pass.

Be Prepared:

Beyond the initial giving blood requirements it is important that you have a light meal and drink plenty of water before giving blood to help keep you from becoming light headed or passing out. You will need to come ready with your donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of ID. You will also be asked what if any medications you are taking at the time so if you don’t know the names off hand make sure to bring a list.

Give today! To find blood a drive near you visit: http://www.redcrossblood.org

 

Photo Credit: GazH via Compfight cc