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World Blood Donor Day: Have you donated lately?

World Blood Donor Day: Have you donated lately?

Every two seconds in the United States, someone needs a platelet or whole blood transfusion. To celebrate World Blood Donor Day this month, will you consider donating?

Having timely access to safe blood when needed is lifesaving. Because there is no substitute for blood, there’s a constant need to replenish the blood supply.

That’s why World Blood Donor Day was established back in 2004 by the World Health Organization. June 14 is set aside as an opportunity to celebrate those donating blood and to encourage those who are eligible to donate blood to do so.

It’s a good time for you to join the effort and save lives! Keep reading as our East Jefferson General Hospital team shares the importance of blood donation.

Why donating blood is so important

You may have seen ads encouraging you to donate blood or received a flyer in the mail promoting a blood drive. All these efforts are intended to raise awareness about the constant need for voluntary blood donations.

When blood is lost during a surgical procedure, because of a traumatic accident or due to a medical condition, such as a blood disorder, it has to be replaced with blood.

There isn’t an artificial substitute for blood, so having a supply of voluntary blood donations is an essential part of keeping our medical system running.

Different types of blood are used in specific circumstances. Whole blood, for example, is used for transfusions given to those with life-threatening injuries or who are undergoing a surgical procedure. Red blood cells are needed for people with blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease, while platelet transfusions are given to those with cancer.

Even a single blood donation makes a massive difference—one donation can save up to three lives.

What to expect when you donate blood

If you’ve never given blood, you may wonder what to expect. It’s actually a pretty uncomplicated process!

When you arrive at a blood center or another donation site, the first step is to determine whether you’re eligible to give blood. While the eligibility requirements vary depending on the specific type of blood donation, you must be in good health and feeling well.

You’ll be asked a series of questions about your health and lifestyle, and your temperature, pulse and blood pressure will be checked. Your hemoglobin level will also be checked to ensure you aren’t anemic.

If you’re eligible to donate blood, the actual donation process for whole blood is relatively quick. You will recline comfortably in a chair while a pint of blood is taken, which typically takes around 10 minutes.

You’ll be given a snack and asked to hang around the blood center for a little while afterward for observation, then allowed to return to your normal activities.

Where you can go to donate blood

If you’re interested in donating blood, there are a number of places within our community, including right here at East Jefferson General Hospital.

Because blood has a shelf life, there’s a constant need to maintain the supply in our community. At our hospital alone, we use more than 1,000 units of blood and blood components every month.

That’s why our Blood Donation Center is open six days of the week for your convenience! Located at 4200 Houma Blvd. on the second floor of the Domino Pavilion, we’re open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 to 11 a.m.

Whether you choose to donate at a mobile blood donation clinic or pop in to visit us here, your donation makes a difference! There’s no better way to celebrate World Blood Donor Day than to make the decision to donate your blood.

Ready to give the gift of life by donating blood? We make it easy and convenient! You can drop in to donate blood at the East Jefferson General Hospital Blood Donation Center, or call 504.503.5691 to schedule an appointment.