We all know that giving blood is a good thing, but how often do we actually take the time to do it? Blood donations are extremely important and impact both the lives of the recipients and those who love them. Unfortunately, a surprisingly small percentage of Americans donate blood with any sort of regularity. We thought it would be a good idea to contribute our efforts by exploring this topic and hopefully encouraging some of our readers to take the time to do so.
Many people are misinformed about the “ins” and “outs” of donating blood, and if you haven’t done it before the thought can be intimidating. Fortunately, there is really nothing to fear. Donating blood is a quick, easy, admirable thing to do, and it’s no more painful than a pinch. Check out our top four reasons why you should donate blood!
#1. You can save up to three lives per pint!
Giving blood is a beautiful thing in many ways. It is a truly selfless act, because you aren’t doing anything but helping others when you donate. In fact, every single pint of blood donated has the potential to save up to three lives. That is a pretty remarkable thing to do in just the small amount of time it takes to donate.
The blood collected in donations goes to people with a variety of different ailments. Oftentimes, it is used in blood transfusions for very sick patients, or used to treat people who have sustained serious injuries and would die without the immediate help of donated blood.
#2. Giving blood is easy!
Not only is giving blood a noble thing to do, but it is also incredibly easy, and no matter where you are located, there is undoubtedly a blood donation center relatively nearby. All you have to do is look online for a blood donation center near you, or simply ask around; you would be surprised who donates regularly due to the impact it has had on their lives or the lives of people they care about.
Once you have found a place to donate blood, the next step is to either call or visit the location to make an appointment. Many blood donation centers allow walk-in visits after your initial visit, where you will be asked to provide some simple, non-intrusive information about your medical history. Beyond that, all you need to do is sit in a chair, deal with the tiny pinch of the needle, and be a hero for saving three lives in one quick visit.
#3. Be one of the proud few!
With it being so incredibly easy to donate blood, it is quite surprising to find out how few of us actually take time out of our busy days to do so. It is estimated that out of the 36% of Americans who are eligible to donate blood, only 10% actually do so with any sort of regularity. This is a startlingly low number when you consider just how many people live in the United States, as well as the amount of lives that could be saved even if that number was only increased to 11%. This is as good a reason as any to go out and donate blood.
There is no reason to expect a miraculous shift in which the full 36% of eligible Americans suddenly begin donating, but to have even a few proud people make the effort to think beyond themselves and help their fellow human beings without expectation of payment or any form of reciprocation would be amazing. Altruistic acts are seemingly becoming more rare in the 21st century, and donating blood is a way to preserve that remarkable aspect of humanity with a minimal amount of effort.
#4. Help yourself by helping others.
“To give is to receive.” There is a reason this quote has lasted generations; variations of it, as well as the concept behind it, have been embraced by cultures across the planet. It is a very human thing to feel the need to help others, but it can be tricky to know exactly where to start. Some embrace their altruistic side by donating money, while others volunteer in soup kitchens. For a few, altruism comes in the form of donating blood.
These are all fantastic ways to both satisfy your desire to help others and have a real, positive impact on someone’s life. One of the really important things to remember about donating blood is its urgency. Your blood might help a mother who was in a car accident, or could go to a child with cancer. When you donate, think of the people that you will never know who are desperate for blood, and know that from your padded chair at the donation center, you have become their hero.