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Perks of Donating Blood
Good for Your Soul and Your Health?
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I also try to give regularly, although sometimes my iron level is too low to donate. I mostly donate platelets now but occasionally give whole blood.
Reason #6 for donating is how good it feels emotionally to donate to someone whose life depends on it.
I,m About to get my 10 gallon pin! The main reason I started giving again is my Brother died from a Blood infection and thought I could continue doing this in His Honor! It is a Big thing to me now working at the drives at church and getting people to join in! I'm so happy I can help save 3 people every time I give! Amazing..BONZ
I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the wonderful people who take the time to donate blood. In 2010 during what was supposed to be a routine hysterectomy, I started hemorrhaging and was minutes from bleeding out. According to the doctor, I had to have three units of blood. I was kept in the hospital an extra two days so that my condition could be monitored.
So I would like to say THANK YOU to all of you who share your gift by donating blood. When they say, you could save a life... they really mean it.
I first donated blood years ago when our church held a blood drive. My husband also started donating shortly after that. In learning that his blood type was Rh+ while mine was Rh- alerted us to a potential problem that could occur during pregnancy. When I became pregnant, we were able to monitor the situation and take precautions to ensure there were no complications.
I continue to donate regularly now because I am a universal and a neonatal donor. I do have trouble keeping my iron level high enough to donate. I use the nutrition tracker to see how much iron I am getting from the foods I eat and then supplement a little if it looks necessary. That has reduced the number of deferrals for me.
Years ago, I was on medication for epilepsy and was not allowed to give blood. After Hurricane Katrina, I was put on blood pressure medicine and was not able to give blood. Several years later, my doctor took me off of the blood pressure medicines and so I am now able to donate blood.
Our Lady of the Lake visits our church several times a year from 8AM to 1PM on a Sunday. This way people can give either before Mass or after Mass. I have donated 2 units so far. In January our church honoring blood donors and giving them a blessing. Father also called for other members of the church who can to donate blood in the coming year.
I wish I could give blood--I have an issue with iron retention (not high enough to be classified as hemochromatosis) and it has been indicated that this could help. However, the last three times I went to various blood centers I could NOT give because they are allowed to only "stab" you three times without success and then they have to let you go without giving. Well, after enduring the pain of nine fruitless stabs (3x going to the blood center times 3x unsuccessful stabs), I have given up. I have deep veins,and even some labs have an issue with this, but the needles are much thicker at the blood centers so it is significantly more painful.
I have a long history of donating blood. When I was a teenager, I learned that my Grandfather had been a regular blood donor while working at various factories here in town, and continued to donate after retirement until he reached like his 70's or 80's when he was told he was "too old" and needed to keep his blood. He had donated around 8-9 gallons of blood during his time as a donor. Then after I turned 17, I had seen a flyer for a blood drive in the county seat, some 20 miles from where I lived, and the "hook" was the message that like 98% of all Americans knew their horoscope sign, but only like 8% or some really low number (this poster was used in the 1970's) knew their blood type. I thought, WOW, That's True!! and made up my mind to go donate as soon as I was old enough. At that time, one had to be 17 years old to donate. So I began donating, and I've had periods of time where I couldn't donate because of living in locations where I had limited access to a donor site, or was deferred a year (like from visiting in certain malaria-stricken countries of the world, and I was deferred for my entire pregnancy - which is how my husband came to donate "for me" (to defend the family honor - and he now donates regularly himself.).
These days, a teenager 16 can donate, with parental permission (or permission of their legal guardian, if that's the situation they are in.). Of course, they can donate on their own without others permission once they are 17 and older.
Benefit #1 is particularly true for men. I have a male friend who has a medical condition resulting in too much iron, and he goes to the Red Cross a couple times a year and has blood drawn in order to improve his iron levels. They can't use his blood, so they charge him less than his doctor would, to have this done. Most women can donate even during their menses, although extra care needs to be taken to make sure they have had plenty of fluids and iron-rich foods before donating, as well as after donating.
You can register or schedule an appointment online at
www.redcrossblood.org here in the United States. There are also phone apps available for iOS and Android devices which allow you to schedule your donation, share the experience on social media, track your blood as it goes through the various processes and is shipped to whichever state needed it. On the website is also information that will help you decide whether or not you would be screened out in the health history process at the beginning of the donation process. Taking the time to read before you go there, if possible, helps you to decide in advance whether or not you should donate. And to further speed up the process, a new option is available - RapidPass - which is done no sooner than 24 hours before your donation - go to
ss - this needs to be at a regular PC website, not on a smartphone browser (yet, although I gave them what-for and suggested they make this available on the phone app!), as it will open up the pages that one usually has to read in person at the donation site. This way you can get in and out a bit faster, important for those donating during their lunch or dinner hours on the job.
In our area, we are also able to donate on the weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, so those hours are an option for those who have jobs to work around.
If you have an unusual blood type, don't be surprised if they ask you to not donate as often, and to donate when they have an actual need for that type. I've had friends with like AB- (neg) type where this has been the situation, because they want to use it and are required by law to throw away the supply if it ages out after so many days in their system.
Keep in mind that the iron in meats is in a form that is not as bio-useable to the body unless it is eaten with plenty of foods high in vitamin C. The Vitamin C helps "chelate" the iron and make it more readily absorbable by the body. Examples would be the traditional steak or hamburger or hotdogs with grilled green peppers and onions (or red peppers, any peppers), since onions and peppers are high in iron. Chicken cooked with fruits like pineapple or oranges or lemons also benefit the same way. So you aren't limited - even if you just drink some orange juice or other high Vita C berry juice, or eat plant based sources of iron like spinach or other greens, that also works.
My sis and I donate every 8 weeks when the Big Red Bus comes to our office. It's great that they make it so convenient for us, because I really don't enjoy the process itself (needle phobia). I only force myself to do it because I know how desperately the donations are needed. We're often borderline on our iron counts and sometimes can't donate, so I'm anxious to see how they look next time since we joined Spark about 2 weeks ago.
I didn't realize that there were these benefits to donating blood. I do so regularly, just donated this past Saturday on my birthday.
What about hose of us who are PLASMA or PLATELET donors? Are there NO health benefits to US? Or does that exacerbate the iron levels? Personally I miss the Cdn Red Cross they had a better blood donation program but were made the scapegoat by the Krever inquiry .
I absolutely love donating and I always encourage people to donate blood as often as they can!
Just remember to eat a big, healthy meal after AND take a rest day!!! Don't expect to be at your current fitness level after you donate- it can take up to two weeks for your body to recover.
Have done this for years - over 6 gallons to date (that I know of).........my "go-to' blood bank shut down last year, though :( ........... I've been pegged as having a rare blood type, which is another factor in my being such an advocate.........my problem is that it's been more and more difficult for me to find and get to a convenient site, which is crucial now that I'm re-employed ("collateral damage", sad to say, from that situation).......
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