Donating blood seems scary, but do you want to know what really happens when you donate blood and how you can make a difference?
I had no idea of how big of a deal donating blood is and how many lives it can save. My husband has always donated blood and I admire that with my whole heart. I, on the other hand, have a deadly fear of needles and could never do it.
Then, this week I got to be educated on the huge impact donating blood makes. I felt so selfish…
Really? A poke of a needle is enough to stop me from saving three lives?
I say this, not because I want you to feel selfish. No, that’s not my goal, friend. All I want is to be 100% true and real. I want to show you that I changed my mind because of what I learned this week.
Just so you know, I donated blood for the first time this Monday! Yes, I did it.
Do you want to know what made me change my mind? Here we go.
Blood Donation Facts
- One in 7 people entering the hospital needs a blood transfusion.
- Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs a transfusion of donated blood.
- One whole blood donation has the potential to help up to 3 patients.
- Blood can be donated every 56 days, up to six times a year.
Are you following me here? Let’s do the math. If you donate blood 6 times a year, which is the maximum allowed, you can save up to 18 lives.
What if you and 9 of your friends also donated blood 6 times a year? That could save up to 180 lives. Holy cow! That’s a lot of lives. Isn’t it?
After finding out about all of those facts, I couldn’t just go on with my life and pretend everything was ok. I couldn’t let my fear of needles dominate me and dictate the impact I can have in the world and in people’s lives.
I want to make sure I explain everything that happened when I donated so you don’t have all the questions I had when I didn’t want to donate blood.
What happens when you donate blood?
My appointment was scheduled for 10:30am. I arrived at the Inland Northwest Blood Donation Center and was greeted by a very friendly member of the staff, who set down with me, making sure to explain all the steps to follow.
She also created my blood donor profile and helped me fill out my medical history questionnaire. These two steps took us about 10-15 min.
Here are all the steps that happen in a blood donation appointment.
- Medical History Questionnaire: you can either answer the questions on a computer in the blood donation center or you can also do it online at home prior to your appointment. This helps speed things up and decreases the length of the appointment. (5-10 min.)
- Check up: The nurse conducted a mini physical with heart rate, temperature, blood pressure, and hemoglobin check. (10 min.)
- Donation: I was really scared and nervous. I had this whole idea of it being 100 times more painful than a regular blood test. I also thought the needle was 10 times bigger and thicker. It sounds silly, but that’s what I had in mind. However, it turns out that it feels exactly like a longer paced blood test. The actual blood drawn takes only 10-15 minutes.
- Rest & Refreshments: After you complete the donation, they have refreshments such as juice, gatorade, water, donuts, chips and cookies. You sit down and relax for a little bit until you feel like you can get up and go on with your day. I didn’t feel dizzy at any moments.
The whole thing took about one short hour of my day!
It’s such a joyful environment and the staff is happy to do their job! They’re proud of what they do and most of them, if not all, donate blood as well, because they know the great potential one single bag has, which is to save up to three lives!
Where can I donate blood?
If you’re in the Northwest area, you can go to this page to either find a Blood Drive or a Blood Donation Center near you.
If you’re in another area of the country, visit this page
After you donate, what happens with the blood you donated?
It. Saves. Lives.
If you visit this page, you can watch videos of amazing stories. Lives that were saved because of other people’s generosity and selflessness.
Without you, there’s no us.
How can you get involved?
Was everything that I shared, enough to make you ditch the fear of needles and take action to save lives? I hope it was. If you want to make a difference, you can start donating blood now. Be Impulsive.
Being impulsive today, can save three lives tomorrow!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Blood Systems, Inc. All opinions and experiences shared here are my own. Comments submitted may be displayed on other website owned by the sponsoring brand.