Showing posts with label blood donation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blood donation. Show all posts

Friday, January 17, 2014

January is National Blood Donor Month

Give and save a life! January is National Blood Donor Month, and individuals are encouraged to give blood. Whether you’re a seasoned donor or are considering the selfless act of donating for the first time, read on for facts about blood donation.

National Blood Donor Month

Facts about donating blood:

  • Each pint of blood donated can be split into platelets, plasma and red cells, which can save up to 3 lives.
  • Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • For every 7 people entering the hospital, 1 person will need blood.
  • Blood can’t be artificially made.
  • Women have 10 pints of blood in their bodies; men have 12 pints.
  • Typically, 1 pint of blood is collected during blood donation.

Why is National Blood Donor Month necessary?

According to experts, blood is traditionally in shorter supply during the winter months due to holidays, travel, inclement weather and illness.  Designating January National Blood Donor Month also brings awareness to blood donation in general, encouraging individuals to donate throughout the year.

What is the blood donation process?

The donation process consists of:

  • Registration.
  • A brief medical screening.
  • Blood collection.
  • Refreshments.

How long does the donation process take?

The entire process, from start to finish, typically takes about one hour at a blood donor center. Actual collection of blood is normally 10-20 minutes, depending upon the type of donation.

What safety precautions are in place for donating and receiving blood?

The supplies used to collect blood are sterile and only used once. You can not contract HIV or any other infectious disease from donating blood. Donated blood undergoes 13 different tests, 10 for infectious diseases, before it is available for use.

Donate blood

Who can donate blood?

  • Individuals must be at least 17 years old (16 years of age in some states).
  • Donors must weigh at least 110 lb.
  • Those looking to donate blood must be in good health.
  • A list of conditions and other criteria is available here.

How often can you donate blood?

You can donate every 56 days, up to 24 times per year.

Do you need to know your blood type to donate?

No, your blood will be tested as part of the donation process at a blood donor center.

What are the blood types? What are rare blood types?

According to the American Red Cross, the eight major blood groups are:

  • A+/-: These types can donate to A and AB types.
  • B+/-: Both blood types can donate to B and AB types.
  • AB+/-: Both can donate to other ABs and can receive from all other blood types.
  • O+/-: The universal donor blood type.

Of all the blood types, AB- is the most rare. O+ is the most common blood type.

Where can you find a blood donor center?

Visit or to locate a blood donor clinic in your area. Additional information on blood donation is available at these sites, as well.

Kathy Rembisz 
Contributing Writer

Monday, January 7, 2013

National Blood Donor Month

blood donation


It is a New Year and a new beginning for us all. Did you know that January is National Blood Donor Month?  Have you ever donated blood to a blood bank in your hometown? Do you ask yourself WHY SHOULD I DONATE MY BLOOD TO SOMEONE ELSE? Donating blood is really a pretty simple and a very generous thing to do.
Blood donation is a voluntary procedure.You agree to have blood drawn so that it can be given to someone who needs a blood transfusion.You might have a loved one who is facing surgery and who might need extra blood. Millions of people need blood transfusions each year. Some may need blood during surgery while others depend on it after an accident or because they have a disease that requires blood components.  Blood donation makes all of this possible. You can also donate your own blood for a future medical procedure where you might require some additional blood on hand for yourself.  
There are a few steps you should take to prepare to be a blood donor
Prior to your blood donation, you should eat a healthy meal. Avoid fatty foods. Also, you should get plenty of sleep the night before you plan to donate. Be sure to drink 16 ounces of water prior to your donation, to make sure you are hydrated.
If you are a platelet donor, remember that your system must be free of aspirin for two days prior to donation. Otherwise, you can take your normal medications as prescribed.
Provided by American Red Cross
There are several types of blood donation:
Whole blood. This is the most common type of blood donation, during which approximately a pint of whole blood is given. The blood is then separated into its components — red cells, plasma, platelets.
Platelets. This type of donation uses a process called aphaeresis. Aphaeresis uses a machine that collects the platelets and some of the plasma, and then returns the rest of the blood to the donor.
Plasma. Plasma may be collected simultaneously with a platelet donation or it may be collected without platelets during an aphaeresis donation.
  • In good health
  •  At least 17 years old — the minimum age varies by state with some states allowing 16-year-olds to donate with parent permission; there's no upper age limit
  • At least 110 pounds
  • Able to pass the physical and health history assessments

The eligibility requirements are slightly different for double red cell donation. Check with your local donor center for specifics.

Blood donation is safe. New, sterile disposable equipment is used for each donor, so there's no risk of contracting a blood borne infection by donating blood.

Most healthy adults can donate a pint of blood without endangering their health. Within 24 hours of a blood donation, your body replaces the lost fluids. And after several weeks, your body replaces the lost red blood cells.

Before you can donate blood, you will be asked to fill out a confidential medical history that includes direct questions about behaviors known to carry a higher risk of blood borne infections — infections that are transmitted through the blood. All of the information from this evaluation is kept strictly confidential.
Because of the risk of blood borne infections, not everyone can donate blood. You will also have a brief physical examination, which includes checking your blood pressure, pulse and temperature. A small sample of blood is taken from a finger prick and is used to check your hemoglobin level, the oxygen-carrying component of your blood. If your hemoglobin concentration is normal and you've met all the other screening requirements, you can donate blood.
You will have your blood tested to determine your blood type — classified as A, B, AB or O — and your Rh factor. The Rh factor refers to the presence or absence of a specific antigen, a substance capable of stimulating an immune response, in the blood. So you're either Rh positive or Rh negative, meaning you carry the antigen or you don't. This information is important because your blood type and Rh factor must be compatible with the blood type and Rh factor of the person receiving your blood. One of the most common types of blood and one in great need is O positive. 
You can go to the and read the many stories from many generous donors. There are a number of reasons why people donate blood. Many have a personal reason because of losing a loved one or have had needed a transfusion themselves. Giving blood is a Gift of Life, and that gift is often needed by a mom or dad or child. My 90 year old father-in-law has been donating blood to the Houchin Blood Bank in Bakersfiled, California, for over 50 years. He started as a young man who donated blood for his father and he has continued to donate since then. He has earned the distinction of belonging to the "25 Gallon club". If we all follow his example, we may be able to overcome the shortage of blood we so often hear about. Give like your life depends on it! Someday your life or the life of a loved one might!


blood transfusion

Cindy Foley

Contributing Writer