It saves lives 

Many blood banks in the US are now seeking donors even more than ever. Summertime means an annual decline in blood donations as people take vacations and travel. Fewer blood drives are organized during the summertime, yet the demand is usually higher because of increased trauma injuries during this time of the year as people are taking road trips and spend more time outdoors. The situation has been made worse during the Covid-19 pandemic, with many donors opting to stay home out of safety concerns. According to the Blue Cross, the blood banks like to have a five-day blood supply on hand, but there were many days during the pandemic when the supply dropped to only one day, as our local Community Blood Center reported. So far, all scientific attempts have failed to created artificial human blood. Only another human can save a human life with their blood donation. The simple, quick, and painless act of donating blood can save a life. The average adult has about 10 pints of blood. During each blood donation, about 1 pint is drawn.  

Do you know your blood type? 

After blood donation, you will be given a donation card indicating your blood type, which you may need to know in the case of any future emergency. As per information from the American Red Cross, the genes inherited from our parents determine our blood group. AB negative is the rarest of the eight main blood types – just 1% of donors have it. O is the universal blood type, meaning that anyone can receive your blood, the rare trait of only 7% of the US population. The O types of blood are especially thought after as they are used in case of trauma when there is no time to test for the type of the blood. 

 On their web page, the American Red Cross states that anyone who has had a COVID-19 vaccine is encouraged to bring their card to their donation because they need to provide the date of their vaccination. Anyone who is symptom-free and feeling well can donate. Hemoglobin levels and blood pressure will be checked prior to your donation. 

Who can donate blood? 

There is a personal story in this for me.For about 20 years, I have not been able to donate blood because I had lived in Europe in the 80s amidst the “mad cow disease” scare. This restriction was lifted only last year, and I was able to return back to my regular blood donations. Each state has its own regulations, but generally, there are age and weight restrictions. Taking certain medication and having certain medical conditions can prevent one from donating. One can donate blood about every three months. 

You can learn here who is eligible to be a blood donor. Also, Covid-19 created shortages, and FHA updated its guidelines here

Local blood centers locations          

Many blood centers have mobile units and are available for local drives. Ask your place of employment if they would be willing to hold a drive. 

Community Blood Centerhttps://savealifenow.org/donate-blood/donor-center-locations-march-2020/

Red Cross:  https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/drive-results?zipSponsor=66208