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Blood donation saves lives

March 16, 2012

When donating blood, the American Red Cross has heard every excuse in the book. “I don’t like needles;” “I’m too young or old to donate;” “I’m taking high blood pressure medicine;” “I hate feeling dizzy after donating blood” and “I always get a bruise afterwards.”

Most donors have a good experience. Complications after donating blood are uncommon, but about three to 10 percent of donors who donate blood may experience some side effects.

According to the American Red Cross blood donor frequently asked questions handout, most of these events are minor reactions such as lightheadedness or dizziness that typically occur soon after blood donations and usually resolve within minutes to a few hours.

Donor Recruitment Miguel Villasana said the biggest challenge for donors is overcoming their fears of the needles, the sight of blood and the short-lived pain of donating.

“Once they (blood donors) realize that it’s in their heads and their fear is the only thing holding them back from saving a life, they would be proud of themselves,” said Villasana.

Villasana said another two common excuses are “I’m taking medicine” and “I’m not sure if I’m the right age.” He said, “There is no upper age limit on donating.”

Villasana said, in most cases, it is the condition for which the person is taking the medication that causes them to be unable to give blood.

If the condition is under control the day of the donation, the person is eligible to donate. This includes medicine for high blood pressure and diabetes, according to the blood donor FAQ.

Donors must be at least 17-years-old to donate. In the following states; Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee, 16-year-olds can donate with a Parental Consent Form, according to the blood donor FAQ.

Villasana also mentioned the following steps for donors after giving blood.

• Drink an extra four glasses of non-alcoholic liquids.

• If you have a wrap bandage, remove it after one hour.

• To avoid a skin rash, remember to clean that area around the strip bandage with mild soap and water.

• Keep the strip bandage on and dry for the next five hours.

• Do not do any heavy exercise or lifting.

• If for some reason the needle site begins to bleed, apply gentle pressure to it and raise your arm straight up.

For more information or questions about donating blood or a full list of donor eligible requirements, contact 1-800-REDCROSS (7-332-7677) or www.redcrossblood .org.

Article source: http://www.waynesvilledailyguide.com/news/x453926113/Blood-donation-saves-lives


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