How to donate blood

“A quick and effective way to make a difference.”

How I did it: There’s not a lot to donating blood on the surface. Contact your local blood bank via phone or email and determine their hours. If you don’t know where to start, check local hospitals or look in your phone book listings for red cross or red crescent facilities. Usually you can set an appointment but some places accept walk-ins. The actual donation takes only 15-20 minutes and the staff is usually very helpful and happy to have your contribution. At the completion, there should be fluids and snacks to help you replenish what you gave up. 

A side note: If you take few to no medications, certain components of your blood (platelets in particular) may be particularly useful to the community. Many donors are elderly people who take aspirin and other drugs regularly so there’s a great need for people without these substances in their system. 

Lessons & tips: – Eat lots of iron rich foods for as long as you can prior to the donation. Red meats are very effective, but so are dark green leafy vegetables, peanuts, and other substances. Check here for details: http://www.redcrossblood.org/learn-about-blood/health-and-wellness/iron-rich-foods

– It’s been my personal experience that it’s more enjoyable to donate on your own time rather than during blood drives. The high patient volume during the drives means that the staff can be overwhelmed and it’s generally a less pleasant experience. 

– If you are eligible, consider donating platelets. You can give twice as often (every 4 weeks) and it takes about 1.5-2 hours, but they give most of your blood back to you and the platelets are in very short supply in some, if not most, areas. There’s a good chance you’re eligible if you don’t take very many painkillers or other medications.

– Read the guidelines in advance. There are lots of exclusions including recent tattoos, piercings, certain types of travel, history of certain diseases, or any connection to male homosexual contact. Some of these may not be fair, but they are in place and it’s worth knowing not to waste your time if you’re in one of those categories.  

– Like most goals, it can help to have a blood buddy that you donate with regularly. It’ll help keep you motivated.

It took me 1 day.

It made me Satisfied

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