You are adorned with a red cape. Your physique is flawless, and you have the power to fly. Trouble has hit the city, and it is your time to shine. Your people need YOU to save them….We’ve all had superhero fantasies of sorts, whether it was when we were kids or when were adults ( I won’t judge.) However, we are only human. Luckily, there are realistic ways we can still save multiple lives. One of those ways is simply donating blood.
Each year, DSU’s HIM (Health Information Administration) hosts a blood drive. Stacy Ulwelling is the woman behind the entire operation. She takes care of all the logistics that go in to getting a blood drive to take place here at DSU. This year, the blood drive is taking place on March 31st from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm on campus. (Exact location to be determined at a later date.) Stacy has posted the event in the DSU Activities Post, and she also sits often in the TC during lunch hour to ask people if they would like to sign up. (Dedication, anyone?) The blood drive has 55 spots available this year. Stacy’s goal is to be “able to fit all of the spots.” Remember, the more spots filled, the more lives saved.
Many people have reservations about donating blood. Many also do not even know if they are able to donate or not. One common concern is the site of needles and blood. There are many counteracts that can greatly ease you during the blood drive process. You can look at your phone (with the other hand) and listen to music with headphones. They have stress balls to play with and squeeze. You can also simply look away. If you keep your feet uncrossed and arm flexing it, it’s a pretty smooth and quick process and definitely worth it to save lives.
As mentioned, another reservation may be the lack of knowing whether or not you are eligible to donate. During the pre-donation phase of the blood drive, they will test many vitals and ask you a series of health questions, just to make sure you are healthy that day and that you fit the criteria to be able to donate healthy blood. Common misconceptions regarding donation ineligibility include: piercings, tattoos, STDS, and travel outside of the United States.
I did some research, and I can easily debunk three of those four misconceptions right away. If your piercings or tattoos were done over 12 months ago – you are in the clear. Also, you may donate blood as soon as 12 months after you have been treated for an STD.
Eligibility based upon traveling out of the country is a tad trickier. It all depends on where you went in the world and how long you were there. The only reason they ask if you have travelled outside of the U.S. lately is because you may have come in contact with different diseases such as malaria or even mad cow disease. As long as you didn’t travel to a place with a high-malaria rate and didn’t stay in this particular place for a long time, you should be good to go. For example, I was just in Cancun for 4 days two weeks ago. I should be good to go. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: if you have been Zika-free for 120 days or more, you are good to go. For more information on eligibility, click here: http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements/eligibility-criteria-topic#lifestyle
Even if you come the blood drive in sweatpants and messy hair and don’t have the power to fly, you are a superhero in all of our eyes. If you are able to, please donate. It is one of the simplest ways to save multiple lives at a time. If you would like to donate, please contact Stacy Ulwelling at firstname.lastname@example.org.