donate bloodYou probably already know that by donating blood, you can potentially save a life. It’s said that 4.5 million Americans rely on blood transfusions every year to survive. If you’re not sure if you’re eligible to donate blood, can  visit the Red Cross to read the requirements.

Why Should I Donate Blood?

Reason 1: Many complications happen during pregnancy and labor that can cause hemorrhaging. This includes internal bleeding from ectopic pregnancies and cervical tears that happen during childbirth.

Reason 2: People who experience severe trauma to their bodies during accidents or natural disasters may need blood transfusions to live or recover quickly.

Reason 3: Donated blood is needed for children with severe anaemia often resulting from malaria, malnutrition, or another medical condition

Reason 4: Different components of your blood red blood cells, platelets and plasma can be used individually for patients with specific conditions like haemophilia, thalassaemia and sickle cell disease.

Reason 5: Children being treated for cancer, premature infants and children having heart surgery need blood and platelets from donors of all types.

Reason 6: There’s always a need for collecting blood because red blood cells only have a shelf life of 35 to 42 days even when refrigerated. Because only ten percent of the American population donates blood, hospitals are challenged to keep their blood banks stocked for patients in need.

What Should I Expect When Donating Blood?

Donating blood is a simple process. While you should reserve about an hour for the entire process, which includes registration, paperwork, a mini-physical, and refreshments, the actual blood collection typically only takes about ten minutes. A trained phlebotomist will poke a fine needle to withdraw a pint of blood via blood vessels in your arm. Does the needle hurt? You can expect to feel a pinch for a second while the needle is inserted.

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