Day: April 15, 2009

Giving Blood

So, today I gave blood on behalf of Edward Cullen! Let me explain…

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago I have set a goal to perform one day of community service a month.  Luckily I found out that my apartment complex has a day of service a month as well.  This month they decided to do a blood drive.  As part of the promotion every donor had to pick a Twilight hero to donate their blood in behalf of.  As creepy as donating blood to a vampire might be it was actually kind of funny.  They even had the movie playing in the donation center.  Everyone knows I am not the most die-hard Twilight fan but I liked the first and second books and it was a creative idea for a blood drive.  I also thought the movie was campy and fun.

The actual giving blood part was a different story.  My veins are always tough to find. When I was 17 I had my appendix taken out and at the hospital the nurses tried and tried to insert my IV.  Eventually once the expert phlebotomist failed they had to insert the IV through my finger!  It is always tough and to be honest that is why I don’t give blood much.  In fact, I haven’t done it for years.  So today I walked over to the clubhouse and gave blood.  It was painful and it took both arms and 3 attempts to get things going but I did it.  It hurt and I am battered and bruised as a result.  I look like a drug user with pricks all over my arm!

Like I said, it hurt and was a sacrifice, but I feel it was worth it.  Hopefully my hard earned blood will go to help someone who really needs it. I challenge all of you that are able, to go out and do it!

Here is a website about the Twilight promotion. http://www.freewebs.com/twilights-bite/

Here are some interesting statistics about donating blood in the United States (some of them are a little obvious like there is no substitute for human blood- really!). I found them from the New Jersey/New York Red Cross website:

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BLOOD STATISTICS

Usage:

–4.5 million Americans benefit from life-saving blood transfusions each year.

–40,000 pints are transfused each day in the United States.

–New York Blood Center alone requires over 2,000 volunteer blood donations each day to meet the transfusion needs of patients in close to 200 New York and New Jersey hospitals.

–1 out of every 3 people will require a life-saving transfusion sometime during their lifetime.

–Someone in this country needs a life-saving transfusion every 3 seconds.

–Transfusion recipients include cancer patients, accident, burn and trauma victims, newborn babies, transplant patients, mothers delivering babies, surgery patients, chronically transfused patients suffering from sickle cell disease or thalassemia, etc.

–Each donation of blood can help save 3 lives following component (red cell, platelet, plasma) separation.

–Much of today’s sophisticated medical care ( transplants, heart surgeries, etc.) rely on blood transfusions.

–Car accident and trauma victims may need as many as 50 or more red cell transfusions.

–Severe burn victims may need as many as 20 platelet transfusions.

–Bone marrow transplants may require platelets from over 100 donors and red cells from over 20 people.

–Blood products are perishable.
* Donated red cells last only 42 days.
* Donated platelets last only 5 days.
* Plasma can be frozen for a year.

–The need for blood never takes a holiday.

Eligibility:

–Nearly everyone between the ages of 17 and 75, weighing a minimum of 110 pounds and in good health can donate blood. Donors over age 75 who are healthy and meet all other donor requirements simply require a doctor’s written permission note to donate.

–60% of Americans are eligible to donate blood; yet on average only 5% of Americans donate blood.

–In the New York/New Jersey community, less than 2% of eligible people donate blood.

–People can safely donate blood every 8 weeks.

–People can safely donate platelets every 3 days or up to 24 times a year.

–Of New York Blood Center’s approximate 450,000 donors, 8% self identify themselves as African-American, 11% self-identify themselves as Hispanic and 5% self identify themselves as Asian. But more donations from people of color are needed so New York Blood Center can better match its community’s richly diverse population and the need for “precise match” transfusions.

How Blood Works:

–Red cells carry oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues.

–Platelets act like band-aids to form clots and stop bleeding.

–Plasma is the liquid through which blood cells, proteins, enzymes, nutrients and hormones “swim”.

–White cells, also called “leukocytes”, are the body’s primary defense against infection.

–The average person has between 8 to 10 pints of blood in their body and can easily spare one for donation.

–After donating, blood volume is replaced, or regenerated, within 24 hours. Red cells need 4 to 8 weeks for complete replacement.

–There is no substitute for human blood.