We often take for granted the powerful life force coursing inside of us—our blood. It keeps us alive as it delivers oxygen and nutrients throughout our brain and body, helps fight infections, transports waste products to the liver and kidneys, and so much more. Our lives depend on its amazingly complex functions, and low levels of blood can cause serious harm to our health.
Because it’s an innate part of who we are, we rarely spend time thinking about it, except when we see blood coming out of us. Instinct automatically signals us take the necessary measures to stem the flow of it.
While most people don’t have any problems with their blood, not everyone is so fortunate.
How Donated Blood Helps Others
Having worked for many years as a neurosurgical ICU nurse, I can tell you that one of the most important things in helping patients survive their delicate and serious procedures was the donated blood available to them. And it wasn’t just the patients in our unit. In fact, every 2 seconds, someone in a U.S. hospital needs extra blood to help them heal and stay alive.
Aside from some types of surgeries, there are many other reasons donated blood is so vital, including:
- Complications during pregnancy or childbirth
- Sickle cell anemia and other blood disorders
- Cancer patients
- Serious accidents and injuries
- Certain chronic illnesses
- Victims of gun violence and natural disasters
Right now, there’s a critical shortage of blood for hospital patients in this country, but you can make a positive difference by becoming a one-time or a regular donor!
A Simple Way to Help Save Someone’s Life Click To Tweet
Donating Blood is Easy and Painless
Your blood really can help save someone—or possibly a few people. When you decide to do this, the process is pretty simple. It only takes about 10 minutes to have a pint of whole blood drawn, although giving plasma takes longer. Either way, you get to recline in a comfy chair, and once you’re finished, you’ll be given a snack and something to drink. After 10-15 minutes, you can carry on normally with your day.
It’s super-easy to sign up and once you’ve registered to participate in a blood drive, your eligibility will be determined. Certain health conditions, treatments, medications, lifestyle choices, and some travel-related concerns may preclude you from being able to donate. But don’t be deterred!
Altruism at Its Finest
There’s a good chance you can give blood. To get started, all you need to do is contact the Red Cross (online or via phone) or do a quick search on the internet to find a blood donation center in your area. As I said above, it’s an easy and painless process. Your blood will be used to help others have the best chance for healing and survival.
So, consider this a personal PSA from me, because donating blood is one of the most precious things you can give to someone else. It is truly a gift of life.
For more inspiration, order my newest book, The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child: How Persistence, Grit, and Faith Created a Reluctant Healer.
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