First and foremost, thanks for your willingness to make a difference by donating blood! It is an important decision to donate blood because donors are the only source for the blood supply in the High Plains Region. At present, the need in our area is increasing to the 30,000 units per year mark where the supply is consistently at 26,000-27,000 units per year. Meaning new donors like you are invaluable to the community!
The most loyal donor base has been from the World War II generation. As they age, they eventually leave the donor pool due to medication requirements and their own health status. To continue to meet the needs of the patients, new donors must enter the pool and establish the same life-long tradition of giving. Every generation must do their part in making sure blood is available for you, the people you love, or anyone else who needs it. We challenge you to educate two non-donors on the need for blood in our community and the blood donation process and encourage them to become first-time blood donors also.
WHAT TO EXPECT
*Giving blood is safe. Everything used is sterile, new and used only once. You cannot "catch anything" by donating blood.
*To avoid light-headedness, you should get a good night's rest, drink plenty of fluids, and eat a low-fat meal or snack prior to donating. It is also advisable to avoid nicotine during the hour before your donation.
*The blood donation process takes about an hour and includes some paperwork, a very personal questionnaire and a mini-physical that includes a finger stick to test your iron level. The actual donation process itself only takes 5-20 minutes. The needle insertion will feel like a stick and a sting. Afterwards, you can enjoy a snack and a soft drink while you fill out your donor survey.
*Most donors feel great afterwards! The average adult body contains 8-12 pints of blood, and the body makes more blood constantly so the one pint removed will be replaced in no time. Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid alcohol for the rest of the day, if possible. We also suggest avoiding nicotine for 30 minutes after donating. These steps will prevent light-headedness. You should also avoid lifting or extreme physical exertion for 24 hours.
*One donation can help save up to three lives. There aren't many opportunities to make such an impact on so many people in such a short amount of time.
*Blood is perishable and must constantly be replenished. Blood donors help ensure that blood will be available when you or someone you love needs it.