i gave my blood to vampires...
Today I took out 45 minutes of my life to donate my blood to the American Red Cross. At first I thought of it as just that, donating blood, but after the required reading and information given to me after I donated, I've learned that I really saved 3 lives. The 45 minutes total ended up working this way; 15 minutes reading required information, 15 minutes completing paperwork, 10 minutes preparation for the transfer of my blood from my body into a pint sized bag, and 5 minutes to fill that bag. After donating, I was swept away to the front of the donation area and fed. I was ask to take my time and stay at least 10 minutes to make sure that I was not going to get dizzy. This was my first time donating and I have to give donating blood a 1.0 on the stress scale. At all times I was completely in control, able to change my mind at any time with no notice, it didn't take long, everyone was nice and I got free food. *laughs* So here are some interesting facts about blood, donating and how things work in the world of the American Red Cross.
Only 5% of eligible people actually donate, it is estimated that 95% of us will need blood or a blood product during our lifetime.
In my area, more than 1,600 units of blood are needed each day for patients in local hospitals.
An individual can donate blood every 56 days.
Blood donations have been processed, tested, transported and transfused within a few days of donation. Red cells can be stored for 42 days.
Platelets have only a 5-day shelf life.
Each blood donation is processed into 3 components:
Red Blood Cells - that carry oxygen from the lungs to every cell in the body. They are needed by patients who have lost blood in an accident or who have anemia. Platelets - help blood clot. Cancer patients need lots of platelets to offset the effects of chemotherapy. Plasma - is used to control bleeding in certain patients and to make a variety of products such as antihemophilic factor. More than half of blood is plasma.
Blood is needed for:
organ transplants gastrointestinal disease aneurysm premature babies open heart surgeries treatment of cancer trauma anemia and clotting disorders accident victims burns
Possible Transfusion Combinations
Blood Type: O+
Can be given to: O+, A+, B+, AB+
Can receive: O+, O-
Blood Type: A+
Can be given to: A+, AB+
Can receive: A+, O+, A-, O-
Blood Type: B+
Can be given to: B+, AB+
Can receive: B+, O+, B-, O-
Blood Type: AB+
Can be given to: AB+
Can receive: O+, A+, B+, AB+, O-, A-, B-, AB-
Blood Type: O-
Can be given to: O+, A+, B+, AB+, O-, A-, B-, AB-
Can receive: O-
Blood Type: A-
Can be given to: A+, AB+, A-, AB-
Can receive: A-, O-
Blood Type: B-
Can be given to: B+, AB+, B-, AB-
Can receive: B-, O-
Blood Type: AB-
Can be given to: AB+, AB-
Can receive: O-, A-, B-, AB-
If you have never given blood, do it, you walk away with the feeling that you just saved 3 lives because you did.
If you have given blood but it has been awhile, go back. You must have forgotten the feeling.
If you give blood as often as possible for you, thank you, the life you save may be my own, my children's, my husband's, or someone in my family.