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An easy-to-keep resolution: Give blood during National Blood Donor Month

by Allison Hatfield | January 2, 2020

Several 2019 news stories reported on the low supply at blood banks in D-FW, and in December Carter BloodCare, which provides blood to hospitals around North Texas, had a less-than-one-day supply on hand. It’s a nationwide trend attributed to an aging population that has slowed or stopped donating and the need for a new generation to embrace blood donation.

A low blood supply means that people who need transfusions or platelets sometimes have to wait, and that can be life-threatening. One pint of blood can save as many as three lives, according to the American Red Cross, and if you’ve got an hour and a half, you can help. The most-needed blood types are RH negative and O negative, but every blood type is desired.

Who can give: Anyone over the age of 16, weighing at least 110 pounds and in good general health.

How to prepare: The day before, drink plenty of water, eat well, and get a good night’s sleep. The day of, drink plenty of water, avoid caffeine, and eat a well-balanced meal one to two hours prior to donation.

What it’s like: At the donation center, you will review your health history with a staff member and get a basic health check (temperature, blood pressure, pulse, finger prick test that measures your blood count). Then you will lie down and a phlebotomist will place a needle in your arm and collect about a pint of blood (this takes only about 10 minutes). Afterward, you will be offered snacks and drinks.

Who you can help: Cancer patients, sickle cell patients, car and motorcycle accident victims, hemophiliacs, and people who have surgery (largely cardiac surgery and emergency surgery).

More Incentive: Give blood at any Carter BloodCare location January 1-17 and get a box of Girl Scout cookies.

 

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