Now that the holidays are over and we are beginning a new year, many of us will be making resolutions, goals, intentions, etc for months to come. Maybe you want to lose weight? Stop drinking? Get back to exercising? Travel more? Go to Bible study? Whatever the case may be, it is an excellent time to start fresh.
One way you can start the year off right is by making time to help others. And what better and easier way to do that right now than by donating blood? January is National Blood Donor Month, and for good reason. Typically this time of year there is a shortage of blood products available. People stop donating around the holidays, and hospital admissions and the need for blood go up as sickness spreads. Especially now, there is a drastic need for blood. All across the country, medical facilities are stating there is an extreme shortage. So we need YOU, Houston Moms, to help fill this need!
Who Needs Blood Products?
Just one blood donation can save up to three lives! The instances that need the most blood products are traumas, especially car accidents. And these can definitely increase in the winter months as roads become unsafe to navigate. But as most of us in the healthcare field know, accidents and disease don’t revolve around a particular schedule. Cancer patients, dialysis patients, transplant patients, and more routinely need blood transfusions. The majority of the time major surgeries will not be performed unless there are enough blood products on hand, so at times a patient’s surgery may be delayed due to a shortage. Every day, in the U.S., almost 30,000 units of blood are used!
The Particulars Around Donating
No matter where you donate, you should be asked questions about your demographics, medical history and medications. In certain instances, you may not be able to donate blood, so when in doubt, call the blood donation center or get there early to double check you are good to go. In general, most places require you to be at least 110 pounds, be at least 16 years old and be in general good health.
Blood donation is free, but most places will require an appointment, especially during the pandemic. Make sure you bring two forms of ID. Before you actually give blood, and once you have passed the screening questionnaire, you will have your vitals checked as well as your iron level to make sure it is safe for you to donate. During the actual process, you will donate a unit of blood, which is about 0.5 L. This can take up to 10 minutes. The whole in and out process should be around an hour.
Afterward, you should increase your fluids, and take it easy for about 24 hours. If you have moments where you feel light-headed, lay down, prop your feet up and rest.
Where You Can Donate
There are an overwhelming number of places you can donate blood, from the Red Cross, to the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, to any of the hospitals and clinics around town. I highly recommend to use this link to find the closest place you can donate blood.
I hope this post resonates with you and encourages you to find a little time this year to help others. Whether you donate once, or monthly, your time and generosity can make a huge impact in someone’s life. And if you cannot donate, find someone to do so in your place! Let’s make 2022 the year of helping each other and building up our community. That’s for sure one thing moms are GREAT at!