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Your donation makes a difference

Last Modified: 1/22/2020

blood donor

This post was written by Annie Ilnicki, MT (ASCP) BB, blood bank specialist, Parkview Health.

“Local health officials are making a plea for blood donors.” If you’re a living breathing human being, you’ve probably heard this announcement on the six o’clock news or on your favorite mobile device. You may have even wondered if donating blood is really that important or if anyone would want your blood. The answer to both of those questions is a resounding yes!

All kinds of people need blood and blood products like plasma and platelets. At Parkview Regional Medical Center, the blood bank provides thousands of these life-saving units every year to patients who have suffered trauma are undergoing surgery, fighting cancer and more.

The need for blood and blood products isn’t slowing down. The need continues to grow in our community and all over the country. According to the American Red Cross, only 3% of people in the U.S. donate blood, and at times, this leaves hospitals struggling to keep their shelves fully stocked. The need for donors is even more critical during the summer months and around the holidays because blood donors often don’t have time to give. That’s why our communities need your help!

Most healthy adults and older teens are eligible to donate blood. It’s a safe process that usually takes less than an hour and causes little to no pain. Here’s how it works:

  1. Arrival: Upon your arrival at a blood donation center or blood drive, you will answer some questions and get a quick health assessment to make sure you’re eligible for donation.
  2. Donation: A phlebotomist will clean your arm and perform a venipuncture to start the process. Sometimes this can sting a little, but it usually only lasts a second or two.
  3. Conclusion: Before you know it, you’ve filled up your donation bag, and you’re ready to visit the snack table before heading out the door.

Certain blood types are rarer than others and tend to make the headlines when blood supplies are low.  But whether you are type O negative or A positive, every blood donation is important. If you don’t know your blood type, that’s okay. Once you donate your first unit, the blood donation center will test your blood and let you know what type you are.

Donating blood is one of the most personal and generous ways you can help people in need. Whether you give every couple of months or once a year, your gift will impact patients’ lives in ways you can’t even imagine.

If you would like more information on how you can make a difference through blood donation, please call your local blood donation center or find a donation drive or event near you by visiting the American Red Cross.

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