January is National Blood Donor Month. I found this out when the American Red Cross left me a voicemail to remind me of it and to provide the hours next week to go in and donate.
When I was in high school, my friend Angela gathered a group of friends together on her 17th birthday to go donate blood. That was my first experience as a donor and it must not have been bad because I’ve kept going back. By no means am I regular donor, though. With my most recent health issues, I may not be eligible to donate next week.
In the meantime, I will do what I can to help get the word out about the importance of donating blood.
A few facts from the American Red Cross Website about blood donation
- Nationwide, hospital patients need approximately 44,000 blood donations on a daily basis
- One blood donation can save up to three lives
- The blood type most often requested by hospitals is Type O
- A single car accident victim can require as much as 100 pints of blood
- Every 2 seconds, someone in the United States needs blood
If you have never donated before, everything you could want to know about the process is available on The American Red Cross website. You will want to take some time to review the eligibility requirements. A few important ones to note:
- Youmust be 17 years of age or older
- Some states allow you to donate at 16
- Youshould be in good health
- It is flu season – if you’re sick and running a fever, you will not be able to donate
- You have to weigh at least 110 pounds
- Recent tattoos and piercings, travel outside of the United States, and some medications may prevent you from donating
- View the complete list of Blood Donor Eligibility Requirements Here
Here are a few lessons about the blood donation process that I learned:
- Drink plenty of water before donating!
- If you’re feeling like you’re going to pass out, don’t pretend like you’re fine and try to leave!
- To reduce the chances of this happening, eat a well-balanced meal before donating, stay hydrated, and make sure you’ve had an iron-rich diet in the days leading up to the donation.
- Avoid marathon training the day you donate. Just take the day off.
- Show up with two forms of identification.
Ok! Go Donate! AND, since the process takes a few minutes, use that time to take a selfie and post it on the Productive Boredom Facebook Page! Maybe there will be a drawing involved?