I went in for my bi-monthly blood donation appointment today. No matter how many times I donate, I still get a little nervous and queasy if I think about it too much.
All that said, there is never a doubt in my mind before, during or after the donation that it is the right thing to do. I saw firsthand the importance of blood donation when my stepfather went through a grueling treatment for leukemia a year ago. His blood transfusions were vital to his recovery.
If you’re on the fence about donating, here are some reasons (some selfish and some selfless) to do it:
- Whether you know it or not, you likely know someone who is alive today because of a blood transfusion they received.
- It is free to donate.
- There are a number of reasons that someone may need a blood transfusion, such as surgery (hip replacement), cancer treatment (chemo), burn victim, or a bad car accident.
- People of all ages can accept blood transfusions, including babies and children.
- You get to eat as many treats as you want after you are done donating.
- If you are a blood-type match with a loved one, your donation can be designated for a specific person in need.
- Most of the time there are major deficits in blood banks.
- You’ve got plenty of blood to spare. The average adult has 10-12 pints of blood in his or her body. Your body replenishes the blood deficit within 24 hours.
- It doesn’t hurt.
- Geography doesn’t matter. There are blood banks and mobile donation centers every where. If you can’t find one, most hospitals take donations directly on site.
- At any time you may need blood to help you survive. You better bet at the time you need blood you’ll be grateful to those people who donated to you.
- While donating, you’re surrounded by nurses and health care professionals. If you faint or something goes wrong, you’re in good hands.
- You get a free health screening. After donating you get information on your cholesterol, blood pressure, pulse and more.
- Some organizations, like the San Diego Blood Bank, offer incentive points for each donation made that can be redeemed for cool prizes like jackets, beach chairs and gift certificates.
- The people at the blood banks are so kind, cheerful and very grateful that you came. From the time I arrive until the time I leave, I am told “thank you for donating” at least 10 times.
If you are in San Diego County, here are a few places you can go to donate:
- San Diego Blood Bank
- American Red Cross – San Diego/Imperial Counties
- Camp Pendleton Blood Donation Center
If you’re on the fence, I’d be happy to answer questions for you or even schedule my next appointment with you so we can donate together.
Give blood. Give life.