I remember the first time I had the opportunity to donate blood. I was a new freshman in college and didn’t really know the REAL purpose of donating blood. I saw the truck in the school parking lot and a few of my friends were going to donate in between classes. They were all telling me there is free cookies and OJ afterward, we were poor college students – free cookies and OJ is like gold. On a whim I decided to join them. Little did I know, donating blood is more than just cookies & OJ. That’s why today I have partnered with Lifeshare to share the importance of donating blood.
At my young age, donating blood was something ‘cool’. It was promoted by the school and because we wanted to be involved so we joined the movement. There may have even been something special like extra credit on an assignment or free entrance to a school event, something extra enticing. What we didn’t know is how important the blood that is donated actually is.
Donating blood only one time could save 3 lives. We’ve all heard that before, but really let that sink in. If you spent one hour donating a few pints of blood could save the life of THREE people.
If you’ve watched any medical movie or TV show, it’s assumed that people in horrendous car or other traumatic accidents need the most blood transfusions. Other people do too, though. Often times it is pregnant women, newborn babies, people with liver or kidney diseases, cancer or other life threatening illnesses. Actually, every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs a transfusion using blood that was donated, that is 1 out of every 7 people that enter a hospital.
In fact, major disasters don’t usually require large amounts of blood. In most cases, hospitals rely on the blood that is already on their shelves to save lives. You can help blood centers be at the ready by making sure blood is available before it’s needed.
It seems so simple, if all someone needs to survive is a pint of blood, it’s an easy fix. That is not always the case, though. Not only is location a factor but considering there are multiple blood types – the blood may just not be available. Just think, we may be exactly what someone needs at that exact time.
For some people it is an easy decision to donate blood because they know someone who has had a second chance at life because of a blood transfusion. That makes donating blood a no-brainer for them.
For me, though, I don’t know anyone that has had their life hanging by a thread, in need of someone else’s blood. I don’t have a heart wrenching, emotion tapping story that leads me straight to the blood donation chair. I do it because I know it helps. I KNOW there are people out there that are clinging to life and need a random stranger’s help.
Moms, babies, soldiers, grandfathers, doctors, teachers. All strangers, but all people.
Strangers in the fact that I have not met them, but not in the fact that they deserve to live just as I would if I was in a similar situation.
Donating blood is much more than just the cookies and OJ, it’s about saving lives. It is something we can do 6 times a year, or every 56 days. One hour hooked up to a simple IV could be the difference between a person clinging to the last ounce of life and living a full, long life.
Other ways to help:
In addition to donating blood you can donate platelets, which help treat cancer and other patients. They only have a shelf life of five days, so platelet donations are always needed.
You can also donate plasma, which has the same lifesaving effect and is in even greater need. Plasma contains important proteins and nutrients which help treat severe burns, traumas, blood clotting disorders, organ transplants and premature infants.
How can YOU get involved?
Find out at BeImpulsiveRSVP.com. #BeImpulsive.
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