January 9, 2017

A Wonderful Way to Give Back – Save a Life by Donating Blood

Are you looking for a meaningful way to help your family, friends and neighbors? Consider donating blood. Every 2 seconds, someone is in need of a blood transfusion. With about 45 minutes of your time, you can help save a life of someone in your community you may know.

Because donated blood is good for only 42 days, donors are needed every day to ensure there’s a stable supply of blood.

“Obviously, the patient benefits — trauma victims, surgery patients, cancer patients, burn victims — but also the donor,” said Donna Ehrlich, director, Donor Resources and Marketing, The Blood Connection. The Blood Connection is Mission Health’s exclusive supplier of blood. “They receive a mini-physical, which could possibly reveal a medical concern otherwise gone unnoticed, plus they can feel proud knowing they have actually saved someone’s life.”

The community also benefits. “Since we are the area blood bank for 28 area hospitals, the blood we collect in a community is helping save a life right there,” said Ehrlich. “It’s a great way to give back.”

Donating blood is simple and safe. And almost anyone can do it. The basic requirements for donating blood are:

  • Weigh at least 110 pounds
  • Age 17 or older (16 year olds can donate with signed consent from a parent or guardian)
  • Photo ID or Blood Connection ID card
  • General good health

“We also ask that you eat, and drink plenty of water prior to donating,” said Ehrlich.

Every donor goes through the same screening process. They are asked a series of health- and behavior-related questions, then the phlebotomist checks their temperature, blood pressure and hemoglobin. “Next is the actual blood donation, which usually takes about 10 minutes or less. Afterward, the donor is asked to refresh for about 10 minutes, and enjoy a drink and snack,” said Ehrlich.

To learn more about the blood-donating process, visit thebloodconnection.org.

Donna Ehrlich is director, Donor Resources and Marketing, for The Blood Connection.