Helping others can come in many ways. Some help through food drives, healthcare donations, and other private acts of charity. Though not the most popular, donating blood is also one of the best ways you can help your community.
The wonderful thing about the human body is that it’s capable of replenishing a lot of what keeps us alive, blood being one of them. However, some people need more blood than others, especially those who have serious medical conditions. Among them are:
The point is, there are a lot of people in constant need of blood and a hospital’s reserves are only as good as the supply. This means the more people donate, the fewer will have to wait in line for their “turn” at the blood bank.
Contrary to popular belief, blood donations aren’t all the same. Here are some of the ways they are different and why each depend on the blood drive’s needs:
This is the most flexible type of donation and is often the one we mostly see during one of those donation drives in public places. There’s no separating any component, which means it’s also the type of donation that takes the least amount of time to complete, often not taking longer than an hour. More often than not, when hospitals ask for blood supply, they often ask for whole blood to quickly restore their stores.
Our red cells serve as the body’s nutrient transporters. They’re also the primary way the body transports oxygen not just to the rest of the body, but also the brain. Needless to say, our red cells are critical for keeping us alive. This is why donating red cells greatly impacts a patient’s chances of survival. Your blood could be used to save a newborn baby or someone suffering from blood loss.
Our platelets help form clots which is critical for wound healing as well as to stop bleeding. Due to their function, platelets are most often given to patients facing life-threatening situations, especially those who are experiencing excessive bleeding. This process usually takes anywhere from 2-3 hours due to the extra steps. However, it’s 5x more concentrated in platelets than whole blood donations.
Plasma, specifically AB Plasma, is used to treat patients during emergency situations. Because it’s AB, it can be given to anyone regardless of blood type. The blood extraction process automatically separates the plasma while also returning your red blood cells and platelets to you.
Your blood won’t just be kept inside a big cold storage, never to see the light of day again. On the contrary, blood is almost always being taken out of any hospital to help patients whether in surgery or for an emergency transfusion.
Your one-time donation today could very well help someone live a better life next week. Maybe someone rescued and taken to an ambulance needed blood to survive the ride to the emergency room, and your blood was used. You may even end up using your own blood.
The blood in our veins is vital in making sure we function normally and without problems. However, some people suffer from unfortunate circumstances that their body needs help. In these circumstances, you can help through blood donation. Regardless of how frequent you donate or how much you give, your blood will always save lives.
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