Do YOU know what today is?

Our world is interconnected now more than ever. And today, on World Blood Donor Day, organizations around the globe aim to bring awareness to the great need for blood and blood products for transfusion. 

Blood donations play a critical part in maintaining the public health. Hospitals and healthcare centers depend on safe blood and blood products from volunteer donors. These generous blood donors save lives and improve the health and quality of life of countless patients every day. 

However, amazingly, only about 3% of age-eligible people donate blood each year. That’s why I wanted to take a few minutes today to discuss this life saving act. I hope that learning more about blood donation takes the mystery (and the fear) out of the process.

Needles aren’t my favorite thing. Most people probably agree. But, when I take a second to think about all the good my blood donation can do, I gladly roll up my sleeve. 

If you have been hesitant to donate blood in the past, consider giving it a try. A little prep work in the days leading up to your donation will make all the difference.

First, make sure to drink plenty of water. We all know how important it is to be well hydrated. It is even more critical when you donate blood. Good hydration keeps your bodily functions running properly and helps avoid low blood pressure.

Next, eat a healthy meal before you donate. Even better – be sure to boost your iron intake by choosing fish, spinach, poultry, beans and fortified cereals. Why? Because iron is a vital mineral found in your hemoglobin which helps maintain your strength and energy. Plus, iron helps make new blood cells to replace the ones you’ll give through your donation.

Finally, RELAX. The folks taking your blood are pros. They’ll be right there if your nerves kick in and can reassure you throughout the donation. It is quick – you’ll be done in about 10 minutes. 

After you’ve finished donating, you’ll unwind for a few minutes and enjoy a little snack. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back. You’ve done something incredible. You’ve made a difference, perhaps even participated in saving a life. 

Be sure to drink some extra water during the day of your donation. And, it is best to take it easy. Skip any heavy lifting and wait until the next day to exercise vigorously. Your body needs a little TLC as it works to replace the blood you gave. 

We don’t want to imagine the unthinkable -- a family member or a close friend is involved in an accident. They are taken to the hospital and need a blood transfusion. Unfortunately, every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood and or platelets. By donating blood, you ensure that the supply meets the demand. 

I hope you’ll consider signing up to donate blood. Participating in this selfless act helps your community and will make you feel great. 

P.S. If you have a story about how blood donation made a difference in your life or that of a loved one, we'd love to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts!

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Comments

E Botto - June 20, 2021

In 1990 my husband and I were hit head on by a drunk driver. I spent the next 6 weeks in the hospital but don’t have any memory of that time due to my head injury. Both my husband and I had to have emergency surgeries for broken bones and I had a collapsed lung. Without the blood donations , I don’t think we would be here today.
I donate blood every time I am eligible and hope to continue until I am too old to do so. Please donate blood when you can!!! The life you save may be your own or that of someone you love.

Patty Jonas - June 14, 2021

When I was 11 years old I had surgery. A couple of days later, at home, I began to hemorrhage and had to be rushed to the hospital. I had lost so much blood that I lost consciousness in the emergency room and had to have emergency surgery in the middle of the night. When I awoke the next day, I had a needle in my arm and the blood that some stranger donated was giving me back my life. I took 5 pints. I love donating for others and have done so many times, knowing that for something that takes just a few minutes of my time, the lifegiving benefits it can have are priceless.

Sandy Hicks - June 14, 2021

I’m working on my 12th gallon of donated blood!

Janna Karsjens - June 14, 2021

I have been donating blood since the age of 18 (1971). I haven’t donated for the last few years, because my blood pressure was too high &/or donating left me feeling too weak. Most of the blood banks would call and remind me every two months, because I have O Negative, CMV negative blood. This means they can use my blood for everybody. And being CMV negative, the blood banks can give my blood to prematurely born infants.

Gord - June 14, 2021

Donations are definitely a great benefit for those needing blood but growing evidence shows the benefits for those giving blood. When you donate your bone marrow produces fresh new blood that is free of any contaminates hat have built up in your current supply. Clean and thin, flowing easily.

Joy Cobb - June 14, 2021

I have donated blood several times over the years, and been given a couple units 3 times. All 3 times, I would have died without it, as i had lost too much and my body was not able to replenish it on it’s own fast enough. To those of you who have donated, I thank you. Your gift is greatly appreciated by those who receive it.

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