Good Monday to everyone! I hope there are signs of Spring arriving where you live, because thankfully after our long Winter, I’m seeing and feeling Spring in southern Kentucky!
Due to the extreme Winter and snow..many American Red Cross blood drives were forced to cancel across the United States, now resulting in an urgent plea for blood donors to give right now. If you already donate your blood, then that’s great! If you’ve never donated or haven’t in a while, please continue reading!
I had gotten out of the routine of donating when I moved states and then found I was temporarily deferred from donating based on my outside the U.S. travels as I had gone to malaria prone countries. That was a bummer, and being temporarily deferred can keep you from donating from 3 months to a year.
Deferral happened to me a few times but thankfully I persisted and made my blood donation appointment and I’m now happy to report that I’ve been able to successfully donate twice in a row!!
To find a local blood drive in your area, you simply can click here to the American Red Cross website, and type in your zip code. That’s it! Or, the Red Cross has made it even easier with their new app! Simply search for “blood donor Red Cross” in the App Store. It looks like this:
I just downloaded the app and I can schedule my next donation and track my donation history!
If you’ve never donated, the thought of giving blood can be scary; especially, if you’re nervous around needles. No one really likes needles, right?! So, let me walk you through my experience so it might lessen any anxiety.
When you arrive at the donation center, you’ll register and be given screening information to read. Each time I have donated, the information has been slightly different, so make sure to read it! A Red Cross worker will call your name and you’ll go to a private cubicle where the worker will take your blood pressure, temperature, and check your iron. (A small finger prick…I know, but you can handle it!).
You’ll be asked a series of screening questions (health/medical conditions/ sexual history/travel/medications) via computer where the worker isn’t present. Once the screening is completed and you’re determined eligible, it’s time to donate!
Donation is simple. I reclined on a cot and the worker put in the needle and I would squeeze a ball/squeezy thing with the hand of the arm I’m donating to help pump my blood. The Red Cross collects about a pint of blood plus several small test tubes. All in all, the donation itself maybe took 20 minutes.
The workers are first rate. The morning I donated, our area had just received another wave of ice and snow. My worker went beyond her job description. Although the roads were icy and only one interstate lane open, she got to work anyway knowing blood donations were desperately needed that day! And, she did an awesome job putting in the needle!!
I’ve never felt lightheaded or dizzy, but the workers make sure you’re okay before you get up from the chair to get your snack and water/juice/soft drink.
If you need any more reasons to motivate you to donate, consider the following:
- 1 pint can save up to 3 lives
- Every 2 seconds someone needs a blood transfusion
- Blood cannot be manufactured, it can only come from volunteer donors
- Donors can give blood every 56 days
- Less than 38% of those eligible to donate actually donate blood
I hope you click on the link and sign up today! Happy Monday!!