How Giving Blood can Make a Difference in Someone’s Life
January 24, 2020
I have been lucky enough to have never needed surgery. I have been lucky enough to have never been rushed to the hospital and needed someone else’s blood to live.
I have been lucky enough to have never needed surgery. I have been lucky enough to have never been rushed to the hospital and needed someone else’s blood to live. I am aware, though, that not everyone is lucky enough to not need surgery or not be rushed to the hospital, which is why I donate blood.
Donating blood is one way that you can make a difference in someone’s life. While it can seem scary, donating blood can be easy. According to the American Red Cross, donating blood should take about one hour and fifteen minutes. Based off of my experience, most of that time is spent filling out paperwork, waiting in line, and the required checkup to confirm your eligibility. Donating blood only takes 20 minutes. While there is a likelihood of feeling lightheaded or nauseous, the employees continually check on you and will not pressure you to continue if you’re feeling uncomfortable.
Some concerns I had before my first time giving blood were about the needle and the process as well as the eligibility requirements. Regarding the needle and the process, there are ways to address a fear of needles and large blood collection.
First, be aware that the employees know what they are doing. Second, employees can distract you from the insertion of the needle if that is what you need. My first time giving blood the employee had me talk about what book I was reading and how my classes were going, basically having me talk about anything but the needle he was about to stick in my arm. I barely noticed when the needle was inserted.
Beyond the fear, eligibility requirements can be tricky. If other members of your immediate family have had trouble giving blood in the past due to not being eligible, talk to them about what requirements they had trouble meeting. For example, my mom has a history of low iron so I take an iron pill the night before I donate just to be careful. Check out the American Red Cross’s website to find out if you can do something as simple as take an iron pill to meet eligibility requirements or if you may have to wait for a time to donate.
If you’re interested in donating blood, you can check out the American Red Cross’s website for drives near you or google blood drives near you to find other services that run blood drives.
If you’re like me and have been lucky enough to never need someone else’s blood to live, or even if you haven’t, consider the life changing impact an hour of your time can make.
Have you given blood? Tell your story in the comments or using #stepupmagazine.