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Why Should I Donate Blood?

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Why Should I Donate Blood?

Lynn Strong

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Many people associate blood donation with pain, but not as many people associate blood donation with giving life.  A person needs blood every two seconds, and one blood donation can save up to three lives. Blood donation truly saves lives. When I first donated blood, I had no idea what to expect, so I hope this can give you a better understanding of what blood donation is like.

First, you are not going to have an IV in you for an hour. I originally thought that collecting blood would take an hour, but collecting blood only takes ten minutes. The longest parts of the process comes before and after donating blood. Before you can donate blood, you must read an information packet. After reading this packet, you must provide identification, answer questions about your health, and have your finger pricked to test your iron levels. When the IV is put in, you will feel a pinch. The amount of pain will differ based on your pain tolerance, but I personally have had shots that felt worse. While donating blood, you can scroll on your phone, listen to music, or do something else to pass the time.

After donating blood, you go to the refreshments table, which has snacks, juice, and water. This is to increase your blood sugar and rehydrate. It is recommended that you wait at least fifteen minutes to rehydrate before going about your day, or you could possibly faint or have other complications.

The overall process of donating blood took about an hour and fifteen minutes for me. For first time donors and young donors, it can take longer than normal to recover from blood donation, so the side effects may be stronger, but it varies based on the person. I did not feel well for the first two days afterwards, then felt fine.

While blood donation can sound scary, I promise that it is worth it for the people who need it.

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