Keep the Giving Going: Donate Blood and Save Lives
January 23, 2018
The holidays may be over and all the presents unwrapped, but that doesn’t mean the giving has to end. Donating blood can save lives and help keep the spirit of giving going into the New Year.
“A blood donation is a great way to give back to our community and have a positive impact on the health of your neighbors,” says Dr. Nusrat Shafi of Providence Family Medicine. “In fact, a one-time donation can save the lives of up to three people. And there is a constant need.”
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Winter can be particularly hard on the blood supply, as cold weather and seasonal illnesses keep donors away.
Providence Health regularly partners with the local Red Cross chapter to host local blood drives. Our next one is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14. To donate, individuals must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health. Go to www.redcrossblood.org to register to donate blood at a drive near you.
Donating Blood is Easy
Donating blood is a simple, four-step process that includes registration, a confidential medical history survey and a mini-physical, the actual donation process and a post-donation snack and beverage. The brief mini-physical checks your body’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin to ensure that your blood is safe and ready to give. The actual blood donation takes about eight to 10 minutes. After your donation, you’ll enjoy a refreshing snack and be back to your regular daily routine after a brief rest.
Donating is easier than ever with the American Red Cross’ RapidPass service. RapidPass allows you to begin your donation process at home. Visit www.redcrossblood.org/rapidpass to complete your pre-donation education and a health history survey, and simply print out your donation pass or save it to your mobile device to show at your appointment.
Know Before You Go*
- Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded.
- Donors can give either whole blood or specific blood components (red cells, plasma or platelets).
- Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets. The body will replenish the elements given during a blood donation – some in a matter of hours and others in a matter of weeks.
- All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases before it is released to hospitals.
Information provided by the American Red Cross