Giving blood is incredibly important . Blood donations are used for many situations. Blood can be needed during surgery, treating cancer, after a bad car accident, for a new mother, and many more situations. Giving blood can save a life. You can be a hero, you could save a life! When you donate blood you may also have the option to give platelets, which are really needed. According to the Red Cross only 3 out of 100 eligible Americans donates blood. So lets look at the process of giving blood.
Many hospitals accept donations, and Newspapers often list local blood drives, you can also call your local Red Cross, or log onto their website to find a blood drive near you. I often see the blood mobile at Wal Mart. You will need to bring a photo I.D. It helps if you know your blood type, but is not required, at all.
When you arrive you will sign in on a sheet, and note whether you donated blood before. If you are a teenager you will need permission from your parents, and to weigh over 110 pounds. Lucky me, I had both of those bases covered. You will be given a red or green sticker with your name on it, the color of the sticker will let staff know whether you have donated before. The next step will be a fact gathering session with a staff member. He or she will check your blood iron level. They will use a lancet to prick a tiny hole in your finger, and test your blood to make sure you have enough iron. They will also ask you identifying questions, such as name and address. Then you will be asked to answer some health questions. I was given privacy to answer the questions, and they were very easy. They asked about diseases such as HIV/AIDS, risky behaviors, tattoos, and travel. These questions are designed to make sure that my blood is healthy enough to donate to someone who is critically ill.
Then it was time for the fun stuff! I donated at our church’s school, so I sat on a thing that looked like a lounge chair next to a friend, which was nice because we were able to chat and joke. I was instructed to lean back and relax with my arm resting on a little metal arm rest. I showed the technician a vein that I knew would be easy to utilize and she cleaned the area with alcohol ( I am allergic to iodine/betadine). She placed a nice tight tourniquet above the vein, and placed a squeezy ball in my hand. I squeezed, and she stuck the needle right in. Was I in screaming agony writhing on the floor? No, it felt exactly the same as a regular blood test.
I sat for a while and the blood flowed into a rubber bag. It was actually pretty interesting. I was told to squeeze the little ball gently every now again. That was pretty much all i needed to do. I sat there and chatted, watched my kids play with their friends, and did nothing at all. It was really easy, and once the needle was in I did not feel a single thing. To think that 1 bag of blood could save 3 lives, and I really did was sit there jabbering is incredible.
When the bag was nice and full, the needle was removed and I was told to hold my arm straight up in the air while pressing a bit of gauze against it for about a minute. Next she placed a bandage on it, and told me to go to the canteen.I was given an awesome Red Cross shirt, and a cute sticker that said ” Be nice to me, I gave blood”. At canteen I was offered my choice of drinks and snacks. I had a couple juices, half a cookie and was on my way. I felt pretty great afterwards. I felt vaguely woozy for like 3 seconds. The juices perked me right up. The staff told me to drink plenty of alcohol fee beverages, and to take it easy on the strenuous lifting, which was just fine by me. They treated us like heroes and made us feel so awesome. The whole experience was so much fun that i can not wait to do it again! Giving blood was really easy, and I recommend that you do it.