January – National Volunteer Blood Donor MonthBy Karen Rhodenizer • Published: January 3rd, 2011
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
Ever stop to think about your community blood supply? Maybe you should, because your community blood supply is pulsing all around you. In local hospitals, on blood bank shelves, in delivery vehicles on the road next to you. And perhaps your community’s blood supply is even inside you right now.
January is National Blood Donor Month, so this is a good time to stop and think about contributing to your community as a blood donor.
If you already donate, you know the rules. You have to be seventeen years old, though in some states sixteen-year-olds can give with parental consent. You need to be in generally good health, and weigh one hundred and ten pounds or more. And you need to show identification.
If you meet these minimum standards, you can probably give and the process is simple. Before you donate you answer questions about your history to determine whether it’s safe for you to give, and for someone to receive your blood.
The blood center checks your iron, temperature, pulse and blood pressure. Again, this is to make sure that giving blood is safe for you.
The actual donation takes only about ten minutes and is pretty comfortable. After you give, you’ll relax before returning to normal activities. It’s smart to make sure you’ve eaten before you give, and also that you’re well-hydrated.
Giving blood, like many things, can go better with a friend. So you may want to ask a friend or family member to come and give with you. Plus it’s always better to enjoy post-donation juice and cookies with someone else.
To find out where to donate in your area, or for more information about giving blood, visit the AABB’s web site at www.aabb.org. You can make a difference today as a blood donor. Don’t just think about it… give it a try!