26 February 2021 (updated)

Help Others Through a Blood Donation- Become a Donor!

Blood donation is one of the most important ways to volunteer and help your local community. Determine if you meet the criteria to give blood so you can become a donor today!

According to organizations like the American Red Cross, there is a shortage of blood donations, especially due to the COVID-19 lockdown. And, while many forms of volunteerism are a little more difficult these days, giving blood is still relatively easy. World Blood Donor Day on June 14, 2020, wants to raise awareness for that.

Given that approximately 38% of the population is eligible to donate blood and platelet and only 2% does, many people are encouraged to become a donor! Blood donation centers near you are keeping the highest safety and infection control standards possible so there's no need for you to worry about a donation during COVID-19.

Why Donate Blood?

There are many important forms of volunteerism, but few things are as necessary as blood donation. While many things can be synthesized, there is no able replacement for blood, platelets, and plasma. Donating blood ensures a healthy, safe supply so each hospital patient can get a blood transfusion when it’s needed. If you fulfill the criteria to give blood, you can help! With 38,000 donations needed every day, World Blood Donor Day on June 14, 2020, is a good time to give. Share this special date with others on FamilyApp!

What Happens When You Give Blood for the First Time?

Maybe you are concerned about the risk associated with blood donation. But, there’s nothing to worry about because it requires disposable sterile equipment. Before donating, you will answer a series of questions about your medical history. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can set up your appointment.

Upon arrival, you will sit in a reclining chair with a blood pressure cuff. A phlebotomist will insert a needle into your arm and draw blood for approximately ten minutes. Following your blood donation appointment, the Red Cross team will give you a snack while you rest for a little while. You should avoid activity for a few hours after and drink excess fluids for a couple of days. If you experience any health issues, be sure to contact your doctor.

What Kind of Blood Donation is Most Needed?

Many people aren’t aware of it but there are a variety of different blood donation types that can help others. When you donate, remember that blood drives can be the difference between whether someone will live or die!

  • Whole Blood - This is the most common donation type at blood donation centers. Following your donation, a lab will separate your blood into its separate components of red cells, plasma, and platelets. Share your own knowledge on your favorite family app!
  • Platelets - During apheresis, a machine will collect platelets from the blood. These are very important as they can help to stop bleeding by clumping the blood. This type of donation is common for people who are receiving chemotherapy.
  • Double Red Blood Cell - Red blood cells work to deliver oxygen through the body and they’re important for this reason! They are necessary for those dealing with severe anemia or blood loss. This type of blood donation will provide twice the amount of cells.
  • Plasma - Plasmapheresis collects the liquid portion of the blood, known as plasma. This element of the blood helps to clot and assists the body in normal functioning. For those dealing with liver conditions or bacterial infections, plasma is a necessity.

If you’ve ever thought of giving blood, there’s never been a better time to donate! With the scale of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to help your local community. Fortunately, there are plenty of locations near you so you can be a blood donor! Would you like to tell others about blood donation benefits? Share your story in our comments! After all, few acts of charity will have the immediate impact of this donation!

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