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How often do you get to save a life? Donating blood saves lives and is an important gift to your entire community. I have a member of my family who requires regular monthly transfusions to survive so I KNOW how important the act of donating blood is. There are many who fail to recognize the benefits donating blood offers the donor.

According to a report by the American Mental Health Foundation, while you are giving the gift of life to others, research points towards it improving your own emotional wellbeing. There is further health benefits too. You are given a free health screening by a trained health professional including pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, hemoglobin levels. This also while being tested for various diseases. So essentially the life you save may be your own.

The Gift of Life

Supplies of blood, and transfusions, serve as an essential component in many daily hospital situations besides trauma. Surgeries, transplants, chronic illnesses, blood disorders and cancer are just a few of the situations that deplete blood supply. Life-saving blood components can support recovery from injuries or disease and can assist up to four patients accelerate their chances for survival.

Volume of each blood donation is one pint, or about 500 milliliters and the entire process takes about 10 minutes out of one hour. The other time is spent for prep and then rest after donation. It is advisable to eat a meal and afterwards consume snack or liquid. Drink lots of water before your appointment and eat some healthy food that’s low in fat. Type O donors are sought after because they are considered “universal donors” and this blood can be matched to any of the four blood types: A, B, AB, and O.

Diminishing Supplies

After a natural disaster, or even during Covid isolation, blood bank supplies dwindle. Since blood is used in communities on a daily basis its easy to run low on supplies. That’s when the call to action is raised looking for donors. Realize that someone needs blood every two seconds in the United States. Your blood can save more than one life, from those with cancer to others who have been in car accidents. It pays to make a decision to donate blood weighing the advantages verses any disadvantages, though donation is safe for healthy adults. Over 6.8 million yearly donors in the United States have made a true effort to help others. You can easily be one!