Today I donated blood for the first time in nearly 2 years. I used to give regularly at Carter BloodCare (located only in Texas, but no "blood" relation to my family), but haven't been able to give since I first traveled to Uganda. I am finally eligable to give again since I haven't been to Africa in the past year - bittersweet. I wasn't planning on giving blood today, but I went to REI and they happened to have a American Red Cross clinic set up. So not only did I get to donate blood, I also got a REI bag and 15% off coupon for my next visit.
Since my wright arm is in a cast way past my elbow, my left arm was the only option to poke and draw blood from. The doctor joked about possibly sticking a long needle down into the cast. Not funny. It took abnormally long for them to get a whole pint of blood out of me, but I finally filled the bag after about 15 minutes. Then they wrapped my left arm up in a red bandage, gave me some juice, cookies and a sticker and sent me on my way. Now I really look crippled with my right arm in a cast and sling and my left arm smeared with iodine and wrapped in a bandage. Oh well.
Yes, being poked with a needle and having blood drawn is a little uncomfortable, but donating blood is such a simple thing to do and can actually save a life! Check out places near you where you can donate blood.
- The average adult has 10-12 pints of blood traveling all over his or her body through the heart, lungs, arteries, veins and capillaries. Blood is an essential part of our bodies that transports oxygen, nutrients, and metabolic waste.
- Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.- More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
- A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.
- A healthy donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days.
- If you began donating blood at age 17 and donated every 56 days until you reached 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood, potentially helping save more than 1,000 lives!