Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Blood.  For some, the word represents life.  For others, pain, or even death.  Whatever it is to you, one thing is for sure: every two seconds, somebody in the US needs it.  Unfortunately, we cannot yet manufacture artificial blood, so the only source for people who need it, is donations.  Every day, more than 44,000 blood donations are needed in the US.

According to the American Red Cross, the two most common reasons people give as to why they do not give blood are: "Never thought about it" and "I don't like needles."  I hope I can have just a couple minutes of your time to address both of these.

The first, "Never thought about it," is easy.  Now you have.  If you live in the Seattle area, the Puget Sound Blood Center is an excellent place to donate.  Another way is through school.  The statistic that I always here when it comes time to do a school wide drive is that each donation saves three lives.  In addition, I have been told that high schools account for most of the Puget Sound Blood Center's donations.  As long as you are at least 16, and have parental permission, you can help make a significant difference in the lives of accident victims, sickle cell patients, and cancer patients.

Now, the second reason, "I don't like needles," is a bit harder to address.  I understand that if you do not like needles, giving blood would not be a fun thing to do.  The best I can do is to explain how it works.  When I give blood, I walk in, sign in, and fill out a form about how I'm feeling and if I'm currently on any medications.  Next, a doctor takes me into a private room to check if I am OK to give blood that day.  The doctor takes my pulse, blood pressure, and a small blood sample from a prick on my finger.  When this is done, I go out to a special chair, and the doctor cleans the arm I will be using.  Next, he or she puts the needle in.  It does sting a bit, but I find that it's not so bad if I look away and clench my jaw.  After a few minutes, they take out the needle, and I get cookies.  All in all, it's relatively painless, safe, and I get to feel good about myself after.

I should probably wrap this up with a conclusion, but it's already a bit longer that I was hoping for.  So, I will leave you with the following resources:
The Puget Sound Blood Center
The American Red Cross Blood facts and stats
As always, feel free to call Teen Link to talk it out with another teen if you are feeling unsure about donating blood, or for any other reason: 1 866 TEENLINK (1.866.833.6546)

No comments:

Post a Comment