The urgent need for blood donations
(WENY) -- Hospitals are in need of blood donations, especially during the summer. Joe Keary, the Assistant Director of laboratory services at Arnot Health, said it is because many of the blood donations come from students taking part in blood drives when school is in session.
“Blood is the life source of the body,” he said. “Blood is what keeps us alive. It oxygenates our cells, it takes waste away from the cells, it's what keeps us going. It's the breath of life.”
Keary said only 37 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood but only 10 percent take it upon themselves to help.
The American Red Cross makes it easy for people to sign up and donate various locations across the Twin Tiers.
When you first arrive at the blood drive, you sign in, give your health history information to an American Red Cross volunteer, and go through a miniature physical before the donation begins.
“Then, they're going to go ahead and draw the blood....and we draw one pint,” Sheila Sullivan, an area booking manager for the American Red Cross, said. “The average person has 10 to 12 pints in their body...so, we're not taking an exorbitant but enough.”
While you are donating, you may feel light-headed or dizzy. After you lay down to donate, you are given reading material on how to prevent dizziness, using applied muscle tension. Once the needle is in, and blood is being drawn, it is smooth sailing for the next 10 to 20 minutes.
“After that process, they take the needle out, they have you sit for a minute, you're holding the needle point with a bandage just to make sure the bleeding has stopped...which is always has,” she said. “Then, they're going to bandage it and send you on to canteen.”
Canteen is where you get to snack and drink as many liquids as you want. Donating blood lowers levels of key nutrients the body. By eating and drinking things like juice and cookies, you help your body recover.
“Then, you're good to go and we just tell you to take it easy for the rest of the day,” she said. “No overexerting yourself, have a good dinner...and then, the next day, you're good to go on any normal thing you do.”