Donating blood matters

Employee News & Views Editor: September 23, 20132 Comments

Donating blood is a very personal commitment and volunteering your time and your very valuable blood, matters!  It matters even more this week because we are short filling just over 30 spots. Community Regional Medical Center’s blood bank partner Central California Blood Center will park their mobile bus in the Kashian Lane parking lot from noon to 4 p.m., Wed., Sept. 25. Appointments are encouraged, but if open slots are available, walk-ins will be accepted too.

Blood donors may give once every eight weeks in order to allow plenty of time to replenish their red blood cells.  The blood center will return to our hospital campus every eight weeks and donors may sign-up ahead of time with Errand Solutions by calling 459-7071. Employees with access to the Forum can sign-up online by visiting Errand Solutions’ intranet page.  Signing up ahead of time will secure an appointment time.  You should allow yourself 30 minutes and up to an hour for the full donation process if you are a new donor.  New donors can help speed up the process by reading the New Donor Information and Eligibility sheet and completing the New Donor form ahead of time.

If you’ve always wanted to donate blood but are unsure of the process or have hesitations, please understand why donating blood matters and what is expected:

Why does your blood matter?

It matters because you will help patients – our patients and people in our community. Your one pint of donated blood could save up to three lives.  Community Regional needs to keep a safe and adequate blood supply available for everyone to use – children, premature babies, cancer patients, patients undergoing surgery, accident victims, and on some unexpected day, that someone needing blood could be you.  That someone could also be  from your own neighborhood, a co-worker, friend or family member.

So the question really is: Why not?

If you’re saying:
I don’t have time…One person needs blood every two seconds, so your one pint of blood given could turn into one of the most important hours you spend.
 I don’t like needles… No one likes needles. But we’re sure you will experience a wonderful feeling of helping others if you can overcome this fear.  Plan to distract yourself.  Bring a newspaper or magazine to read, or schedule your donation with friend or co-worker, if possible, so you have a buddy to talk to while you donate. The actual donation takes only eight to ten minutes, so it will be over before you know it.
I’m afraid I’ll faint or feel weak afterwards… Make sure you eat well-balanced meals, drink plenty of liquids, and get enough rest before you donate.  Eating foods high in iron (e.g. red meat, dark green vegetables, raisins) or taking a multi-vitamin with iron may help increase the red blood cell count (iron levels). Your fluid volume will be back to normal within 24 hours after you donate. Your white cell count will return to normal within 72 hours after you donate. An adult of average weight has about 10 to 12 pints of blood so the one taken is hardly missed.
I can’t donate because I’m taking blood pressure medication... If your blood pressure is normal, you have no physical limitations, and are in good health, you can safely donate.
They already have enough of my blood type... A unit of red blood cells, no matter what group and type it is, has a maximum shelf life of only 42 days, so each unit needs to be replenished on a continual basis.  All blood types are needed but currently, there’s a shortage of type O-Negative. O-Negative is the universal blood type and occurs in 7% of the U.S. population and can be given to any other blood type. AB-Positive, which occurs in only 3% of the U.S. population, is the universal recipient blood type, as this type can receive any other blood type. Our blood bank partner strives to maintain an optimum inventory level of a 5 to 7 day supply. Due to unpredictable demands from trauma incidents the inventory can fluctuate hourly. When the supply drops below a three-day level, the blood bank begins alerting local donors to increase the inventory to a safe operating level.
What to expect when you donate:
Blood donation is a simple four-step process.

1. Register: A photo ID (a driver’s license or employee badge works) and Social Security Number are required to register, and then you’ll be asked to verify your name and address. 

2. Mini-Physical and Interview: The mini-physical consists of checking your pulse, blood pressure, temperature and iron level. In the confidential interview, a trained interviewer will ask questions about your general health and medical history, as well as questions concerning risk behaviors, foreign travel and other subjects.

Your mini-physical and interview are conducted to ensure that giving blood is healthy for you and that your blood is as safe as possible for the recipient(s). All information gathered during the physical and interview is kept strictly confidential.

3. Blood Donation: The collection of a unit, about one pint of blood, takes about 15 minutes. You may feel a small pinch when the needle is inserted, but most donors do not feel any pain for the duration of the donation.  Once a unit has been collected, additional small tubes of blood will be collected for laboratory tests. All blood collection equipment is sterile and used only once.

4. Relax:  After your donation, you can enjoy some refreshments to help replenish your fluids. At this time, you have the option of scheduling your next donation appointment. After you’re done with relaxing and refreshments, you can resume your normal daily activities.

If this looks simple enough for you, I give you a thumb up – and two thumbs up if you don’t delay signing up.  Please call 459-7071 to make that appointment or sign up online today!  There’s currently over 30 spots to fill and your blood really does matter. All donors receive a coffee mug and an entry into a drawing for a great prize.

Shannon Merritt,
Communications Specialist,
Community Regional Medical Center

 

2 responses to Donating blood matters

question

I missed it today because I did not know they were here until it was too late. When will the blood bank be back again?


Blood drive

Donating blood is great. It really makes you a superhero. But at Central Calif Blood Center you can also give platelets (every 2 weeks) and plasma (once a month). Let's all be heros!


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