How to Sign up to Donate Blood

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Makenzie Wright – Editor-in-chief

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(Photo Credit via jbsa.mil)

(Photo Credit via jbsa.mil)

 

Blood donation is a great way to give back to the community, but it can also be a scary situation for a first time donor. The procedure to register may be confusing, and some may not know what to do after donating, so this article will help anyone who has never donated blood on how they can sign up.

The first step to donating blood is to get onto the American Red Cross website, www.redcross.org This website has all of the basic blood donation that everyone should know before donation. It is important to scan this website before signing up for donation.

The next step would include looking at the blood donation restrictions. It is better to know if you are able to donate before one  signs up than when one shows up to the donation center and are denied. There are basic restrictions such as piercings, tattoos, and traveling that differs depending on where on lives. These restrictions should be thoroughly read through before one makes the decision to donate.

After this, the next stage deals with actually signing up for donation. On the website, there is an area to type in your zip code. This is to find the closest blood drive being conducted in your area sometime soon. Next, one chooses which drive they would like to sign up for, if there is more than one in the area. Once one is chosen, the website will ask for a name, an email, a blood type, and the time one would like to sign up to donate. After filling out all of this information, one is officially signed up to donate.

There are certain measures everyone should take before the donate blood. From the start of the day, one should be planning for their donation. One should  always eat plenty before they donate, and that they drink a surplus of water. This is to ensure that the donor remains healthy during, and after they donate. The health of the donor is very important and everyone that donates should make sure they are taking care of their bodies.

Once at the donation center, the donor will be seated and is expected to read a paper about blood donation to double check that they are up to the donors code. Donors will likely be offered water and snacks before they donate. Before the actual donation, all donors are given an oral questionnaire and a blood test. The nurse runs the blood to make sure there is nothing wrong with it, and the questions are the final stage to ensure that one can donate.  

After all of this, the donor is able to give. The average amount of blood that is taken from one adult is about a pint. The donation will last an average of 6–10 minutes, but can also last longer depending on ones blood. It is important to stay calm during the blood donation and do not panic, because that could make the situation much worse.

Once the donation is complete, do not walk away from the donation table quickly or without supervision. Some experience dizziness and even faint after donating, so as a first time donor, everyone should take measures to prevent these things from happening if they are prone to it. Always drink juice or water after donating, and eat something, as well. For safety reasons, the nurses recommend not removing the donation spot bandage for five hours after donating. It is also noted to not do any extreme sports, or to drink alcoholic beverages. These precautions are important to the health of the donor.

The blood donation process may seem long and insignificant, but all of these steps are to ensure one’s own health before, and after the donation. These steps should be followed in a serious manner, for blood donation is a serious action. These actions, though, will save the lives of many for multiple reasons. All donations matter, and anyone who is eligible to donate should think about donating.