Should You Donate Blood?

Posted on February 12, 2024 by Published by

You might be considering giving blood, whether you are a first-time donor or a regular lifesaver. Dr. Ajay Sahajpal, a transplant surgeon and executive medical director of the Global and Executive Health Program at Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care, shares five reasons why you should donate blood now — and throughout the year.

1. To help save lives
Your donation can help save up to three lives. A small sacrifice of your time makes a true difference for a child needing a transfusion to help them through their cancer journey, or a young woman after a car accident or the many others facing life-threatening situations.

2. In honor of a loved one
Perhaps a friend or family member received units of blood during an illness, providing healing or extra time to make more memories. Please support the Emily Holum Memorial Blood Drive.

3. To give back or pay it forward
Perhaps you have or will need blood in the future for your own healing.

4. To continually replenish inventory
Did you know that most blood products last only 42 days (about 1 and a half months), with some lasting as few as five days? That’s why blood centers can’t accumulate vast reserves of donations, and there’s no “factory” where we can manufacture blood.

5. For a fully gratifying feeling
Dr. Sahajpal says many people feel a great sense of fulfillment in helping others by giving blood and often are repeat donors. A healthy person can give blood every eight weeks.

So, who can give blood?

You can donate blood if you:

  • Are in good health and feel well
  • Are at least 16 years or older, in most states
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds
  • Have not donated blood in the last eight weeks

Reasons you might not be able to donate:

  • You have a cold or the flu
  • You have low iron levels
  • You are on certain medications
  • You recently traveled outside of the country

Our Lady of the Wayside will be hosting Emily Holum Memorial Blood Drive, Sunday, February 25, in the gym from 8am to 2pm.   CLICK HERE for details or to register to give blood.

Article contributed by: Advocate health enews Staff

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