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How To Donate Blood This Holiday Season (And It’s Free!)

By Expert HERWriter
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Are you looking for some way to give back yet money is tight? With all the ringing bells, giving trees, and envelopes requesting donations this holiday season, there are ways to give back without costing you any money.

Donating blood is a great way to help the community and requires very little time – in most cases just about an hour. Science has not yet created a way to ‘build blood’ therefore it’s up to you to donate. There are 4 blood types – A, B, AB and O which are then either positive or negative. For example, you might have A positive blood, or O negative. The most common blood type is O positive while the rarest is AB negative. Because of this, it’s important for many people to donate blood for those in need.

Blood is needed for those in an emergency situation as well as those will an illness such as people with cancer or blood disorders. When you give blood, rest assured you’re in the hands of professionals. You must be at least 17 years old and weigh 110 pounds. They will ask you some physical and health history questions before you donate. None of the needles or bags are reused and you’ll donate about a pint of blood which takes about 10-12 minutes to collect. Don’t worry; you’ll be in a relaxed atmosphere with the option of juice and cookies afterward!

Once collected, your blood is sent for thorough screenings before being directed to where it’s needed. If you wish to direct your blood to a particular person (for example, if a family member or friend is having a major surgery that requires transfusions) you can set-up what’s called ‘autologous’ donation in which you donate ahead of time so your blood is still screened before used by them (assuming you are a match). You can also donate to yourself if you, personally, have to go in for surgery.

Blood that does not pass the screening test is destroyed – not to be used at all ever.

If you want to do a good deed and donate this holiday season (and beyond), then contact your local American Red Cross. The night before, make sure you get a good night’s sleep.

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HERWriter Guide

Thanks for this Dr. Jones. I hope people can donate, it's frightening when you hear that there are so many shortages.

Unfortunately most Europeans are not allowed to donate blood in America, even if we're healthy as horses. There are rules against it. But I would, otherwise!

November 28, 2009 - 11:56am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.