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Donating Blood, Sweat and Cheers! A Critical Need for Blood Exists

I’m Barrie and I warmly welcome you to my monthly blog Over50andfit.ca

68 Years Of Donating Blood

I’m passionate about giving blood. I am 86 and have been donating since I was 18. I am equally enthusiastic about encouraging others to donate. Are YOU willing to give?

I have a question for you: How often in the US does someone require a blood transfusion? Answer: Astonishingly, every two seconds. This translates to 16 million units needed annually.

Blood donation is a vital part of worldwide healthcare. It allows for blood transfusion as a life-sustaining and life-saving procedure. Over 100 million units of blood are donated annually throughout the world.

How Did Donating Blood Begin?

It was not until the beginning of the 20th century that certain blood groups were identified. Transfusions were only carried out on a limited basis. Interestingly, during this period, blood was transferred instantly and directly from donor to recipient. The first time blood was “banked” was during World War I in 1916.  A US Army Medical Corps captain combined the blood with glucose and was able to store blood in refrigerated conditions. Up to this time, soldiers were dying of otherwise non-fatal wounds due to the inability to perform a timely blood donation.

You Can Reach Three People

Each unit of what is called blood may be divided into its component parts: red cells, platelet and plasma. Consequently, each donation has the potential to reach three patients, all the more reason to give.

Procedure for Donating

Generally, you have to be at least 17 years of age (16 in some states with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in good health. The whole process takes about one hour, including the actual blood donation of about 10 minutes. You will be comfortably seated in a reclining chair. All instruments are sterile and you are well protected. I find that technicians are very friendly and supportive. Time passes quickly. Some people may be concerned about being injected by a needle, but you might be surprised at how pain free the insertion is. Finally, you will be supervised for 15 minutes and given a tasty snack and beverage.

Are There Benefits From Regular Blood Donations? – Lots!

· Linked to a healthier heart and vascular system

· May lower the chances of having a heart attack

· Can reduce blood pressure

· Can reveal potential health problems

Perhaps the most gratifying reason for donating is the overwhelming emotion of satisfaction, knowing that you have contributed to a person’s life.

Blood donation and transfusion is a vital part of medicine in the treatment of hundreds of thousands of patients annually. Maintaining an adequate blood supply is an ongoing challenge, dependent entirely on volunteers. Currently, 2.6% of the adult population in the US donates. Will YOU?

I welcome any suggestions you have, and would be delighted to answer any questions at Over50andfit.ca

Yours in fitness,

Barrie Street

Resources for donating blood:

Red Cross

MemorialCare.org

.

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About The Author
Barrie Street
Barrie Street
Teaching has been one of my major passions, mainly involved at the secondary school level. I am entering my 57th year of teaching Math with the same passion as when I began. Spending so much time with young people – whether teaching or coaching them soccer, field hockey, tennis, cross-country running, cricket or ping pong – has kept me young in mind. Young people will always remain the back-bone of society and to help them grow and mature has always been a privilege. Over50andFit.ca.
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