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Health Education Blog

Why You Should Consider Being a Blood Donor

Posted by Staff on January 14, 2019

woman donating bloodEvery 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Just one blood donation can potentially save up to 3 lives. Every day blood donations can help patients of all ages who are accident and burn victims, hearth surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer. Blood donation is extremely important because blood and platelets cannot be manufactured; they can only come from volunteer donors. While 38 percent of the U.S. population can donate blood only 10 percent actually do.

Due to busy holiday schedules, bad weather that results in canceled blood drives, and seasonal illnesses, winter is a difficult time of year for the American Red Cross to collect enough blood to meet patient’s needs. That’s why January is National Blood Donor month – and there’s no better time than now to consider donating blood.

According to the American Red Cross, this is what you should know before you donate:

Your whole blood donation appointment will take approximately one hour. In the time, it takes to complete one whole blood donation appointment, 1,800 patients in the U.S. will have needed lifesaving blood products. To make your donation more comfortable, come prepared. Be sure to wear a t-shirt or a top with sleeves that can be rolled-up easily and bring your favorite book, movie or music to relax with.

You don’t need to know your blood type. According to a national survey conducted in April 2018, on behalf of the Red Cross, more than 53 percent of people believe they need to know their blood type to donate blood—this is simply not true. We need donors of all blood types to ensure a sufficient supply for patients. Donors may be notified of their blood type following their donation when they receive their blood donor card or by creating a profile through the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

You must be in good health. Seasonal illnesses like the flu can affect a blood donor’s ability to give. Most medication will not disqualify you from being able to donate, but if you have questions please visit RedCrossBlood.org.

Rest and relax. Get a good night’s sleep before your donation and avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous activity afterwards. If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness, stop what you’re doing and sit or lie down until you feel better.

Hydrate and eat a healthy meal before your donation. It is important that before giving blood donors drink plenty of fluids (an extra four 8-ounce glasses of fluids) and eat nutritious foods, rich in iron and vitamin C such as red meat, fish, poultry, beans spinach, iron-fortified cereals or raisins.

If you aren’t feeling well or have flu symptoms on the day you’re scheduled to give blood, then it’s best to wait until you’ve recovered completely. This will help prevent the spread of the flu. If you have received a flu shot, and you’re symptom-free from the flu, there’s no risk of transmitting influenza after receiving the vaccine.

Scheduling a blood donation appointment is easy! All eligible individuals can make an appointment by visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Remember, Orchard Hospital’s Medical Specialty Center is Your Everyday Health Care Clinic. Visit our walk-in clinics in Gridley and Oroville or contact us to schedule an appointment.

Our mission at Orchard Hospital is to provide our community with superior healthcare. We strive to ensure that your experience at Orchard Hospital is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our priority is to provide you with the care you need when you need it, with skill, compassion, and respect.

Topics: Healthy Lifestyle

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