Since it seems as if every month has multiple national titles now, it’s become more difficult to keep track of monthly observances and awarenesses. While it might be a challenge for people to keep them straight, this month has more significance than others. There are numerous reasons why the National Blood Donor Month is a vital part of our societal duties. First, it increases awareness of the importance of donating blood. Unlike other organs, blood is a liquid in the body that regenerates when used up. Therefore, people can share their blood with people who need it most with little impact on their own daily lives. Relatively accessible and common in most communities, many people believe blood donations have led to a surplus of blood in the blood bank; however, this isn’t entirely true. Many hospitals have a shortage of blood and rely on the generous donations of others to keep blood available for important surgical cases and deadly trauma accidents where blood is required for life-saving procedures. Creating more awareness for the importance of blood donation will help hospitals stock blood for those times when they need it most. With this in mind, how can people help out during National Blood Donation Month? Check out some of the ideas below!
The first way that people can help out during National Blood Donation Month is to donate; however, this doesn’t just mean donating blood. In fact, people can donate multiple blood products that are all vital to helping people out during their time of need. Examples include donating whole blood, donating plasma, and even donating platelets. Each of these is a fantastic way to provide essential resources to hospitals and blood banks that need them during the holiday season.
Donate Whole Blood
Whole blood donation is the donation procedure that most people associate with blood drives. When people donate whole blood, they are donating red blood cells along with the other parts of their bloodstream. Red blood cells are important for carrying oxygen to the body’s tissues. In fact, there are several different types of red blood cells including A, B, AB, and O. In addition, each red blood cell is either labeled as a + or -. People of certain blood types can only accept certain types of blood. For this reason, it is vital that everyone donates to ensure that every patient has a type of blood that they can receive if they need it. Furthermore, people with the blood type O- should absolutely donate as often as they are physically able. Everyone on Earth can accept O- blood, making this a valuable resource. Donating blood can save a life.
In addition to donating whole blood, people can also donate plasma. This is one component of the blood stream but is still important to helping patients stay alive. Plasma is a yellow liquid that carries salt and enzymes to the various tissues in the body. This is vital to helping the bloodstream carry nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to areas of the body that need it. Plasma is often used to help people who are receiving treatments for rare diseases that depend on protein for success. Without plasma, this protein doesn’t survive long enough to provide the treatment to the people who need it. Donating plasma can help provide these treatments with a greater opportunity for success. People who are healthy enough should donate plasma.
In addition to donating whole blood and plasma, people can even donate platelets. Platelets are a small but vital component of the bloodstream because platelets are used to stop the bleeding. When people come into the hospital as a result of serious trauma cases, the first thing the physicians need to do is stop the bleeding. Sometimes, this is a challenge because the patient is bleeding so quickly that they’re losing all of their platelets. Therefore, many physicians will try to use a bag of platelets to try to quickly stop the bleeding and stabilize the patient. This makes platelet donation a vital part of the treatment process for patients who otherwise might bleed to death. People who are physically able should take the time to donate platelets because this might save a life.
Organize a Blood Drive
There are some people who aren’t able to donate blood because they might carry a disease, have left the country recently, or aren’t healthy enough to donate blood. This doesn’t mean that these individuals cannot help collect donations. In fact, these people can organize a blood drive themselves and receive assistance from the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross’ website has information on how to organize a blood drive for their community or organization, including sign up forms for prospective donors. Most organizations will host the blood drive at their own physical locations; however, the American Red Cross will help people find the best location to host their blood drive as well as provide the resources necessary to do so. On the website, the American Red Cross provides some important information regarding how to recruit people to donate at the blood drive.
Educate Others about the Purpose of Donating Blood
For people looking to go the extra mile in addition to donating blood and registering for the Bone Marrow Registry, they can also help to spread the word to others about the purpose of donating blood. Educating others and encouraging them to give can help provide even more resources for individuals in their time of need. In fact, a few fantastic examples of how to spread the word are discussed below.
Spread Flyers with Information on How to Donate
One of the great ways to educate people doesn’t require much time or effort at all. In places like office buildings and college campuses, hundreds of people walk through certain areas on a daily basis. Hang up some flyers with information on how to donate blood. Remind people that they can download the American Red Cross app on their phone. This will contain valuable information on blood drives and the importance of donating. This flyer should also encourage people to visit the American Red Cross online to find out more information on donating blood or organizing a blood drive. People can also contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS with any questions or concern. This is all information that can be neatly contained on a flyer with big letters that is easy to read.
Volunteer to Encourage People to Donate
There are many instances where people simply need a little encouragement to donate blood. People can volunteer to give talks to groups or organizations on the importance of donating blood. This could be on college campuses before enormous lecture classes start or even at large company gatherings. Remember that many people don’t donate because they simply don’t know that they can. Other people don’t donate because they don’t fully understand the process. Remind people that it doesn’t take much time or effort to donate blood that could help save someone’s life. Help to alleviate some of these worries by educating people directly on the importance of donating blood.
A Multitude of Ways to Help
National Blood Donor Month, provides an excellent opportunity to take advantage of the extra media attention help spread the word about the importance of blood donors. There are many ways individuals can help including the donation of blood products such as red blood cells, plasma, and platelets. You can take it one step further and even organize a blood drive on your own or with a group. Still others can sign up for the National Bone Marrow Registry. Finally, everyone can help educate the general public to the importance of donating blood. National Blood Donor Month only comes around once each year. Use this time to save a life by donating blood. Remember that your donation is helping to make a difference by providing a life-sustaining resource to those in need.
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