Blood donations are at an all time low. You can help save a life by donating a pint of blood. Here are some helpful tips to know before you donate blood.
How does donating blood help?
It is estimated that each pint of blood donated can be used in about three life-saving operations. Hospitals are always in need of blood donations, so every contribution makes a huge difference!
How long does it take?
While the actual donation process isn’t very long, you should plan to be there for about an hour in order to fill out the necessary paperwork beforehand, and to give yourself some time to make sure you feel well after your donation.
How should I prepare?
Make sure you drink plenty of fluids beforehand. The Red Cross recommends drinking an extra 16 oz of water on the day of your donation. Eat a healthy meal before your donation, but try to avoid overly fatty foods.
Who can donate blood?
Most healthy adults can donate blood.
Regulations require that all donors weigh at least 110 pounds and not have symptoms of any infectious diseases (including the cold). Pregnant women and those who have given birth in the past two months should not donate.
You may also be deemed ineligible to donate blood if you have traveled to certain countries recently, have recently gotten a tattoo, or are taking certain medications. However, many common medications, including aspirin and birth control do not affect your eligibility.
For a full list of eligibility requirements, please visit: www.redcrossblood.org
Where can I donate blood?
Here are some nearby donation centers:
Local blood drives
- Jersey Shore Medical Center Feb 18
- Ocean Medical Center March 9
- Riverview Medical Center May 15
- Red Cross please visit www.redcrossblood.org for a local donation near you
How often can I donate blood?
After donating blood, you have to wait 56 days before being eligible to donate again.
What else should I know?
Many blood donation centers offer incentives for their donors. Some offer movie tickets or gift cards, and just about all of them have a variety of snacks to help refuel your body after your donation!
For more information, visit www.redcrossblood.org or contact your local donation center