Friday, July 06, 2007

Give blood now, and again in 56 days.

I just came from donating blood. The local newspaper has had several articles on the shrinking blood supply - Atlanta was down to less than one day of reserves. That often happens in the summer when people are on vacation. But more folks on the road means more people are likely have accidents and need blood. So I and lots of other folks gathered at the local Red Cross Donor Center to give a pint and perhaps save 3 lives. It didn't take long - about an hour - and it's a great way to serve the community. Especially since only 5% of people who are eligible to donate actually do.

If you've never given blood before or if it's been more than 56 days since your last donation, why not make an appointment to donate? Just call 1-800 -GIVE LIFE (448-3543) or visit to find a blood drive near you or make an appointment at your local donor center. Alternatively, call 1-888-USBLOOD (872-5663) or visit to make an appointment at a community blood bank.

And if you can't donate blood, consider donating time or money to support these efforts. You never know when you or someone you love might need blood. Someone will be there for you. Won't you be there for someone else? And don't forget to consider all the ways you can give life.

“There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.” - Josh Billings, American Humorist, 1818-1885


Anonymous said...

Another positive thing people can do is promote a change to Canadian Red Cross blood donor policies, so people like myself who can donate blood are not prevented from doing so simply because we're gay men. My risk factors for HIV are much lower than many straight women and men, as I have never had sex that has risk of HIV transmission. But because I have been sexually active with men, I can't give blood. Many of us are trying to change this policy, both so more people can safely donate blood and also so the blood supply is better protected (asking "are you a man who has had sex with men" is a lot less effective than asking "have you ever had unprotected sex", followed by a rapid HIV test for anyone who's not sure of their serostatus). This is a positive thing we can do to save lives!

Karama said...

Hello Anon,

Thanks so much for your comment. I agree completely. Banning men who have sex with men (and their female partners) is outdated, discriminatory , and does not address the critical question: does this person's behavior put her or him at high risk for contracting and transmitting HIV. Hopefully these policies will change so that more healthy people, regardless of with whom they have sex, can donate blood and save lives.

Thanks also for mentioning the Canadian Red Cross. It's time for me to post again on blood and tissue donations (and time for my regular blood donation) and you've given me a good way to talk again about this important topic: blood donation outside the US.

I hope you enjoyed your visit, and please spread the word and come again.

Karama said...

Q: Why can I only donate blood every 56 days?

A: Because it's takes your body 56 days to replenish your blood supply after donation.