Health Female Adda
1 year ago
Have You Given Blood Lately?

It’s National Blood Donor month—get on board to give a little

Hoping to start 2013 with a few good karma points? Give blood during National Blood Donor month this January. You can safely donate a pint or two every 8 weeks—and it’s easier than you might think.

Never donated blood before? Don’t be shy—it’s a pretty quick and painless process. On the day of your donation, the Red Cross advises donors to stay hydrated and wear loose clothing so technicians can easily roll up your sleeves. Bring your ID and a list of medications that you are currently taking. The whole process, including filling out registration forms, a mini physical exam (blood pressure, temperature), the actual donation, and recovery time takes about an hour and 15 minutes. But you’ll only spend about 8-10 minutes of that time giving blood.

See if you meet the Red Cross’ checklist for blood donation eligibility:

You must be healthy According to the Red Cross website, this means that you “feel well and can perform normal activities. If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, healthy also means that you are being treated and the condition is under control.”

You must be at least 17 This applies to most states, but in some places donors can be 16 years old with parental consent if allowed by state law.

You must weigh at least 110 lbs Additional weight requirements apply for donors 18 years old and younger and all high school donors.

Have allergies? You can still donate blood if you have a stuffy nose, itchy eyes, or a dry cough as long as you feel well, don’t have a fever, and don’t have any problems breathing through your mouth.

Getting over the flu? You shouldn’t donate if you have a fever or a productive cough (meaning you have phlegm), or if you’re still in the midst of an antibiotic treatment for sinus, throat or lung infections. If you simply don’t feel well the day of the donation, you should also wait.

For a complete list of medical conditions and treatments that affect your donor eligibility, visit RedCrossBlood.org.

Find a blood donation location or upcoming blood drive in your neighborhood by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/donating-blood or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to schedule an appointment.

Image: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

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