June 14, 2023

police officer giving blood for the Red Cross

One person’s blood donation could help to save up to three people’s lives.

Every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion. Unfortunately, we are currently in the largest nationwide shortage of blood donations in the last decade.

But it is no wonder. After going through a global pandemic, many of our medical routines were shaken! We put off preventative care and postponed that next checkup. Voluntarily heading into a medical facility was a stretch for many. This led to less blood donors and less blood to help those when they may need it most.

Medical facilities and personnel rely on the donations of the healthy to provide blood for those who desperately need it. Did you know that just one person’s blood donation could help to save up to three people’s lives?

According to the Mayo Clinic, one blood donation can “save the life of a child with leukemia, restore the strength of a cancer patient and provide a critical transfusion to an accident victim.”

Giving blood can make some of us a bit overwhelmed and woozy. But the good news is the entire blood donation process only amounts to about an hour and 15 minutes. A little time and blood can make a world of difference in people’s lives!

If you have concerns, you are not alone. Below are a few helpful tips I have learned as a nurse that will help make your blood donation as smooth as possible!

Needles

One of the more common questions I hear around blood donation is about needles. Rest assured — you have nothing to worry about. Medical staff at donor sites are experienced and work hard to make the donation process as smooth and comfortable as possible. Take a breath and remember you’re in experienced hands!

Distraction

Whether you are afraid of needles or get uncomfortable with blood, distraction may help. Many people do well with the blood donation process if they are focused on something else while they’re getting prepped to donate.

For instance, try talking on the phone with someone or watching a lighthearted video on your phone while they are getting your IV and fluids ready — I am giving you a medical excuse to do some TikTok scrolling!

Hydrate

Make sure to stay well hydrated by drinking at least 64 ounces of water the day before your donation. This will make it easier for the nurse or technician to locate veins and prep you for an easy and comfortable blood donation.

Eligibility

Before showing up to donate, make sure that you have read the requirements for your donation type. Your age, health, weight and more can be a factor. You can prepare ahead of time —click here to read about the qualifications for each type of donation.

For more information on Blood Donation and see the list of resources below!

Blood donation frequently asked questions – Mayo Clinic

Facts About Blood Supply in the U.S. | Red Cross Blood Services

If you are interested in finding a local Blood Drive near you, you can go to Donate Blood | Find a Local Blood Drive | American Red Cross.

Weekly Recipe

African Peanut and Greens Stew

Jordyn Schwerin, RN

Authored By

Jordyn Schwerin, RN

Kinetiq Health Program Manager

As a Kinetiq Health Program Manager, Jordyn works to create customized and unique wellness solutions, aiming to improve her clients’ overall health and quality of life. Her responsibilities include collaborating with client wellness teams and hosting one-on-one client meetings to communicate and implement wellness plans based on specific needs.

Meet Jordyn