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5 Reasons to Become a Blood Donor

If you really think about it, making a blood donation is kinda one of the greatest ‘good deeds.’ It’s super easy and you’re donating something that will save peoples lives, and unlike with cash donations, donating blood doesn’t actually leave you with less of anything. Your body adjusts and creates the amount of blood needed. There’s no thing as being ‘blood rich.’ Here are five reasons to make a blood donation.

Reason #1: Your blood donation is needed

Someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds. Every day, 41,000 blood donations are needed. And each year, nearly 21 million blood components are transfused in the U.S.

More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment. So basically, we need a lot of blood.

And since blood donations cannot be manufactured, donations must come from people.

Reason #2: You’re eligible to donate blood

An estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, but unfortunately, less than 10% actually do each year. In a single year in the U.S., there are 9.2 million blood donors, and 15.7 million blood donations. But many more are needed.

The FDA recently reversed the lifetime ban on gay men donating blood. So, if you can donate — do it. To see if you’re eligible, check here.

Reason #3: Your blood will save lives

Each blood donation can save up to three lives. There are four types of transfusable products that can be derived from a pint of whole blood: red cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate.

The average adult has about 10 pints of blood in his or her body. Roughly 1 pint is given during a donation. A healthy donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days, or double red cells every 112 days. A healthy donor may donate platelets as few as 7 days apart, but a maximum of 24 times a year.

Get this: If you began donating blood at age 17 and donated every 56 days until you reached 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood, potentially helping save more than 1,000 lives … that basically makes you a superhero.

Reason #4: It’s easy

Making a blood donation is a super four-step process: registration, medical history and a mini-physical, actual process of donating blood, then refreshments (cookies!). The blood collecting takes about 12 minutes, and the whole process takes no more than an hour and 15 minutes. If you’re not sure of a place holding a blood drive, a simple online search will do the trick — here, I even did it for you.

Reason #5: Free Snacks

Hopefully this won’t be your main draw — but knowing that you’ll get cookies and little things of juice at the end can certainly sweeten the deal.

Save your excuses

And don’t give me that ‘I don’t like needles’ nonsense — we all have to do things we don’t like. Those who need blood are way more inconvenienced that you are by donating it. And you might need blood one day, so it’s good blood karma and just the right thing to do.

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