By: Kendall Zuniga
In the month of January, blood shortages are at a critical stance. This tends to happen because people choose to stop donating during the cold and flu season, donor stations also become snowed out in some states preventing people from donating. About 38 percent of the population actually gives blood, and blood supplies can’t always meet the proper demand due to only 3 percent of the population being age-eligible. Every 2 seconds a person in the United States is in need of blood. Blood donations are used for patients in need of surgery, cancer treatment and transfusions for blood loss from traumatic injuries.
What do you know about your own blood and blood type? Your blood type is determined by the presence or absence of certain antigens, these are substances that can trigger an immune response if they are foreign to the body. There are four major blood types: A,B,AB, and O.
A protein called the “Rh Factor” can be present by positive or negative antigens in our body giving us the eight main blood types: A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O–, AB+, and AB-.
Thinking of donating blood but not sure how the process works? First make sure you meet the appropriate guidelines before donating or making an appointment to donate blood. When arriving at the donation center you will be asked to sign in and present your ID, such as your drivers license or your school Id. You will be asked to read some information about donating, such as why you should donate as well as how donating benefits yourself and others. A certified nurse will cleanse an area on your arm and insert a brand new needle for drawing the blood, the needle is only a quick pinch and should go away within a matter of seconds. During the blood drawing process it should only take about 8-10 minutes, and in the duration of your time you’ll be seated or lying down comfortably. Once approximately one pint of your blood is collected, your donation is complete and a staff person will bandage up your arm. When your donation is complete, you’ll be given a snack and something to drink and are allowed to leave and continue on with your day after 10-15 mins(this is just to make sure you’re feeling well and on your feet).
Feel like spontaneously donating blood? You can go to www.redcrossblood.org, go to the red drop down tab and enter your area zip code to find popup donation centers near you!
Amazing job Kendall I loved the article!
I love this article Kendall! It’s so informative and it drew my attention the whole time!