Following the biggest modern mass shooting to take place on American soil this weekend at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, an urgent call has been put out for donated blood.
Many individuals in the area would like to help. For those who aren’t close by, a tragedy such as this can often be a catalyst for people to consider starting new habits that give back, one of which can be contributing blood to those in need.
Which is the good news to come from the bad. The fact is that only about 4 per cent of the American population currently donates blood each year, but up to 38 per cent is eligible.
What’s stopping the remaining crowds of healthy donors? Many elements, including time, fear, location, accessibility and just a general lack of routine, likely come into play.
But they don’t have to. Giving blood can be easy. Donors get a free snack to top up at the end of the whole process, so go on out for the cookies and call it a day off in the name of a good deed.
How can you know if you are eligible to donate?
According to the American Red Cross, a person’s entitlement to give blood is determined on the day of the donation, at the blood drive or blood donation center.
In general, the Red Cross states that donors must be in good overall health and feel well enough to perform their regular activities, in order to give. If you’re feeling off or tired or like a headache is setting in, it could be good to wait a few days and see if you come back to normal before you go to the center.
As for age and weight, a donor must also be at least 17 years old to give in most states and around 110 lbs. In some places the minimum age is younger, and those who are 16-years-old and have parental consent can donate if allowed by state law.
The fact is, blood is strongly needed in the U.S.A. Unfortunately, it isn’t simply victims of mass shootings that require emergency blood donations from strangers to stay alive, but also people who are casualties of regular, everyday events.
According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the country needs blood. Victims of car accidents, who commonly undergo a great deal of trauma, can need up to 100 pints of donated blood just make it through.
And so opening up to giving can be extremely helpful to someone in need, and possibly key to saving their life.
Still unsure if it’s for you? Want to know what rules are in place? The experts say donors can rest assured that their bodies and blood are in good hands when they give.
Regulations set out by the U.S Food and Drug Administration ensure that a new, sterile, disposable needle is used for each blood donation. And for the safety of recipients, all those donating must be free from any disease that is transmissible by a blood transfusion, as determined by a health record and a short, onsite medical examination the day of donation.
Interested in donating? Click here to find a Red Cross blood drive near you.