There is no replacement for human blood. True Story.
January is National Blood Donor Month and as a frequent donor I thought I could share with you some of the reasons why you should also consider donating blood as well.
Here are some fun facts about donating:
- Blood donations can be separated into three components and are used for a variety of purposes:
a. RBC (red blood cells) which last 42 days (given to patients in auto accidents, liver transplants, bone marrow transplants, cancer patients, etc)
b. Platelets which last 5 days (usually given to those with leukemia and other cancers)
c. Plasma which can be kept frozen for up to one year (mainly used for burn victims)
- The donation process, filling out forms, waiting, snacking afterwards, takes about an hour. But the actual blood donation usually takes about 10 minutes.
- Each unit of blood is tested thoroughly to ensure safe transfusion.
- Approximately 4.5 million lives are saved each year by blood transfusion.
- There are four types of blood: A, B, AB and O. Each can be positive or negative for the Rh factor. There are 10 pints of blood in the average human adult and you are eligible to donate blood every 56 days.
The best part (for me) in addition to helping people, is that you can’t exercise right after you donate; no, I’m not always looking for an excuse to be lazy and sit on the couch!
If you have never given blood before don’t be afraid to tell your phlebotomist it is your first time. They are very gentle and the technology is amazing. The worst part for me used to be the needle coming out of your arm, these days they’re retractable and you hardly feel it. If you start feeling a little bit nervous or warm or dizzy put an ice pack on a big blood vessel like the back of your neck or in between your wrists.
Do you donate blood regularly?