National Blood Donor Month: Why You Should Donate Blood

January 24, 2023
National Blood Donor Month: Why You Should Donate Blood


National Blood Donation Month

The Month of January is a critical period of blood shortages. Because of the holidays, and cold and flu season, many people take a break from donating blood. Therefore, President Nixon proclaimed that January would be National Blood Donor Month in 1969. Donating blood helps save lives everywhere. To learn more about blood donations, locations, and resources, keep reading.

Why You Should Donate Blood

Donating blood helps save lives. Blood splits into 4 different components that can help people: red blood cells, plasma, platelets, and cryoprecipitate anti-hemophilic factor (AHF). All of these parts are crucial in saving people in different situations. Red blood cells treat people who have lost blood due to trauma or recovering from surgery. Plasma is given to patients in treatment for blood clotting. Platelets are used mainly on patients who have cancer or going for organ transplants. AHF is also used on patients for clotting factors. If you can donate blood you are changing the lives of others, even people within your community.

Blood Donation Procedure

The donating blood procedure is simple. Depending on where you go, the experience can be a little different, but overall, they have similar, if not identical procedures. Remember to bring some type of identification because this will be required.

To start, there is a weight and age requirement that is put in place for your safety (most require you to be at least 16 years old and weigh a minimum of 110 pounds). If you pass this, there is a series of questions that they will ask you. This is the confidential pre-donation screening. It is crucial to be completely honest because this affects both you and the person who could receive your blood. They will also take a drop of blood from you to test it, but make sure you tell the employee of any recent travel outside the country or health concerns, too. Then, there is a short health test to measure your pulse, blood pressure, and temperature. If you pass all these tests, you move to the next part of the procedure.

Once everything is done, there will either be a bed or chair that you will sit on for your blood donation. The employees will clean your arm with an antiseptic and talk you through the process. You can also choose which arm you want to use if the veins are prominent enough. A professional will then use a blood donation kit to start the process. The donation process takes 6 to 10 minutes for one unit of blood. Make sure you drink plenty of water and eat iron-rich foods on the day of the donation to make it go smoother.

Once your blood is collected the professional will put a gauze or band-aid on your arm for any extra bleeding. There will be an area with drinks and snacks that is recommended for you to regain some strength, and then you can leave when you feel ready. After donating, try to increase your fluid and food intake. This is just so your body can return to normal after giving blood. You can do most normal activities after, but it’s always a good idea to give your body 24 hours to recuperate entirely if possible. You might also have some bruising after donating blood, which is normal, just apply a cold pack periodically to reduce the bruising area. If you have any other issues, call the facility where you donated blood for further help.

Ready to Donate Blood?

If you are ready to donate blood, the easiest way to start is to go online and find a blood donation center near you. There are centers all over where you can donate. There are also blood drives that you can signup for. If you are in school, most colleges usually run a blood drive, too. Many jobs also like to give back to the community by hosting or sponsoring blood drives.

Soma Tech Intl. is proud to sponsor a blood drive at the Bloomfield Fire House on January 27th, from 12 to 5. This is our first year sponsoring a blood drive and we are beyond excited. If you are free, please come join us and help our communities!

National Blood Donor Month: Why You Should Donate Blood

There are two main blood donation centers in Connecticut. There is the Red Cross, which has centers all over CT. There is also the Connecticut and Rhode Island Blood Center. It is easy to go online and see what blood drives or centers are close to you and you can choose the day and time that you want to go. Some of these centers also have an online app that allows you can do the pre-screening questions online to make the process faster. If you are from another state or country, you can check online for similar events. Regardless of where you donate blood, it is always for a good cause.

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