Regular blood donors are our superheroes. That small sacrifice makes a huge difference in so many lives! But some of us need convincing. So, here are four reasons you should give blood, or give more regularly!
- The need is huge!
There is a critical shortage of blood in Jamaica, putting all of us at risk. Even if we’re healthy right now, blood products are used to treat accident victims and viruses like dengue fever. Any of us can quickly find ourselves or our loved ones in need of blood.
- One unit can save up to 3 lives.
That’s right! A single donation is roughly 8% of the average adult’s blood volume, which your body easily replaces in two days. But that small fraction can be separated into four blood components: platelets, plasma, red blood cells and white blood cells, that can treat different ailments.
Convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients, may be a treatment for the virus. Red cells, on the other hand, are used to treat people who have suffered severe blood loss from trauma like postpartum hemorrhaging, a rare but potentially fatal birth complication.
- You screen your own health in the process.
To make sure it’s safe for donors to give blood, you go through routine medical checks like blood pressure, temperature and iron levels that all give critical glimpses into your health and wellness. There is also a confidential medical interview. If you give regularly, these mini health screenings help you to keep track of your own health between yearly medicals.
- It’s easy and safe.
If donors are in good physical health and proper collection protocols are followed, giving blood is easy and safe. After medical checks, including when and what you last ate, you can sit back and relax while you’re prepared for the procedure. Supplies like needles, tubes and collection bags are completely sterile and only used once, preventing contamination. For most people, the actual collection process takes no more than 20 minutes. And, apart from the initial sting from the needle, donors shouldn’t feel any pain.