Student Shares Reasons For Donating Blood

November 8, 2018

Four and a half million Americans would die each year without blood transfusions. Approximately 32,000 pints of blood are used in hospitals every day in the United States. LifeSouth Community Blood Center set up a blood drive, sponsored by JROTC, to help contribute to saving lives.

Walking into the gym, I felt nervous to give blood for the first time, but I was excited to help. Signing up to give included a series of many questions. They consisted of where I have traveled, what I have come in contact with, and basic health questions. Before giving, I was taken to a nurse, who asked more questions and then took my blood pressure, heart rate, and hemoglobin levels, through a small finger prick. This also told me what blood type I had and I received a care sheet with instructions for how to learn more about my blood and when I could give again.

Once I was cleared to go, they tied a rubber tourniquet around my arm to restrict blood flow in the lower arm, which allows for easier access to the vein.  Then, they marked the vein that they would soon insert the needle into. The 16-gauge needle was carefully pushed into my arm and tape was placed around needle for comfort and to assure proper flow into the bag.

Photo by Dylan Brotherton

The process normally takes around 10-15 minutes, but for me, it took seven minutes. While giving, the staff constantly checked to make sure I was still feeling fine.

Even though I was initially nervous, their staff was very nice and talked me through the whole process. They were extremely caring and I was satisfied with my experience. Every person who donated blood, filled a bag that will go to be tested for viruses before they are given to patients in dire need of the blood. According to LifeSouth staff, one bag of blood has the ability to save three lives. It is a great cause, and an easy way to help the local community.

In the end, it was not as bad as I thought, and I am happy that I was given the opportunity to save three people by giving.

 

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