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Donating Blood

Imagine that your father had just suffered a heart attack, and has to go through open-heart surgery in order to repair the damage that happened to his heart. Imagine your little nephew or niece was born with a rare heart defect and had to have a daily transfusion of blood in order to have a chance to wake up the next day. Imagine that your best friend went to the doctor and had just been diagnosed with leukemia, a disease requiring regular platelet transfusions.

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These aren’t very nice things to imagine about, are they?

It is very sad and unfortunate, but these things happen all the time, you or someone you know may have experienced something like that already. People experience something like this every day. Most people would probably just expect that the hospital would have enough types of blood to give to the people who need it so that they can get better. But that is not the case. In these sad cases most people would feel or want to do anything that they can to help. There is one way everyone can help and that is by donating blood.

Red blood cells, platelets, and plasma are some of the things people can donate and they are also very important to a person who needs them. These can help the person return to good health. Some of the types of people who would need a blood transfusion are patients that have gone through surgery, burn victims, accident victims, anemics, hemophiliacs, babies that are very sick, and people suffering from leukemia, cancer, kidney disease, and liver disease. Some really interesting facts about the blood donations and the need for blood is that about every three seconds there is someone in the world who needs blood.

That’s more than forty thousand people who need blood every day. The demand for blood is constantly rising and sometimes a certain type of blood can be in short supply which can put lots of peoples lives in danger. Even if you just donate once, that will be enough to save several people. I myself have gone to a blood donation clinic, but unfortunately I couldn’t donate any blood because my temperature was too high, but I won’t let that discourage me from re-scheduling another appointment at the American Red Cross blood.

The set up that they had there was not what I had expected it to be. There have been a few blood drives at my school but I never donated blood. American red cross came about two times each school year around the middle of every semester. Everything was set up inside the gym with around a couple dozen of beds, where they make you lie down while they take your blood, spread around the basketball court. Sometimes they even brought the little camping trailers where you can go inside of it and they’ll take your blood.

The day before I had made my appointment online at 4:00 PM to donate platelets. When I walked in the American Red Cross clinic I thought it was going to be much bigger like the ones that were at my school gym but instead there were only about a dozen beds in a little area to the left of the entrance. I Started walking towards the area where everyone was donating at, but then I was stopped. A short Latino man with black hair around his forties came up to me and asked “Can I help you? ”.

Since it was my first time going somewhere to donate blood, I didn’t know what to do. I thought that since I made an appointment at four that I would just be able to walk in, confirm that I was the one that had made the appointment, lie down on the bed, and they will take my blood, but I was gravely mistaken. As I was just standing there not knowing what to do I said to the man “Ummm yeah. I made an appointment online to donate platelets. ” He asked me if I had a donors card and i replied no.

Then after explaining to him that i have never given blood before so this was all new to me, he gave me a look like he finally understood why I was so clueless. Now that we were finally on the same page, the man asked for my drivers license so that I could prove I am who I say I am. When i gave him my drivers license he went somewhere to another room. While he went to go do his thing, I was instructed to sit down and read a binder that looked at least 6 inches thick.

I grabbed the binder from the table and just sat there looking at the front cover thinking to myself “They expect me to read everything thats in this huge binder? ”. But when I opened it up, I was relieved to see only a few pages. As I finished reading about donating blood and the requirements, the man came back with my drivers license attached to a folder with a paper clip. I was asked if I was ready and I said yes. I was taken to this really small square room that almost made me feel closterfobic and then I was told to sit down.

I took a seat and then he also sat down in a small desk in the corner of the room next to me. I was asked a few questions like my social security number, where I lived, do I have any diseases, my age, a whole bunch of questions. It felt like I was being interrogated. As he finally got done asking me all those questions, he told me that he needed to poke a little needle in my finger and get a small blood sample. As I was sitting there with my finger sticking out I saw him grab what looked like a small clicking pen.

Then he started to put the end on the top of my finger. Suddenly he just clicked the pen, and I felt a little poke and my finger started bleeding. He wiped my finger with a small cotton ball and then grabbed a little square piece of glass and put in on my finger to get a small blood sample. After he told me I had enough iron in my blood to donate, now he had to take my temperature. I had to put a thermometer under my tongue for a few seconds until he grabbed it. One of the requirements for donating blood is you cannot donate if your temperature is over 99.

5 F. When my temperature was taken I was only 2 percent away from meeting the requirements, which means my temperature was 99. 7 F. I was told I couldn’t donate which made me a little disappointed. I told him I would reschedule again some other time. In my one day that I went to the American red cross building I learned a lot of new things and how I can help save peoples lives. I will definitely be making another appointment soon and ill keep making an appointment as much as I can.