Since 1975 the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has been operating in the greater Houston and the Gulf coast area of Texas to help save lives. Over the decades it has grown to help more than 170 hospitals and medical centers in twenty six Texas counties. To meet the needs of such a large area this non-profit organization must get over 1,000 donations of blood each day.
Most people see commercials on television about donating blood but do not understand how much is needed and what it is used for. If you donate blood it may be used for emergency situations, operations, treatment for cancer patients, premature babies, people with anemia and much more. Since there is no substitute for blood and it only can be kept for a short amount of time the need for donations is always great. The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center makes it easy for those who wish to give blood. There are 14 locations in Houston and it’s surrounding suburbs. There are also local donation centers in Nacogdoches, College Station and Lufkin. Here you can get driving directions, hours and general information about a location convenient for you.
If you have never donated blood before there are a few things you should know to help familiarize you with the process before you go. First it is important to make an appointment this makes your donation go smoothly. You must be at least 16 years old weighing 122 pounds or 17 years old weighing 110 pounds, both with parental consent. You will also need some type of identification like a drivers license, passport or state issued i.d. It is a good idea to have an iron rich meal before you donate and drink plenty of fluids a couple of hours before donating. If you have traveled outside the United States there may be some restrictions before you can donate you should contact the blood center directly to ask questions. There are also some illnesses and medications that may keep you from donating, at least for a while. You can find much more information here in their frequently asked questions section.
Some of scared of donating because they have never done so. You only need to allow about a hour of your time to donate from start to finish. The actual blood donation only take about 5 to 10 minutes, the rest of the time is for signing in and resting and having your juice and light snack they provide when you are done. When you donate you give one pint of blood, there are 12 pints of blood in the human body. It only take around one month for your body to replace the blood you have donated.
You may not have given it much thought in the past but the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center and the services they provide are essential. They have a wonderful program which my husband is a member of called commit for life. Every time you donate blood you get points which you can accumulate and later get items like mugs and t-shirts. Every time you donate blood you can save up to three lives so please take a little time to give to your community and give blood. There is nothing as rewarding as knowing you could be giving the gift of life.