Donating blood is one of my favorite ways to spend a lunch break, and much to my delight, that’s exactly what I did with mine today. Every eight weeks, I drop by Lifeblood to share my blood with people who need it more than me, and I always leave amazed that this simple gift can have such a grand impact. Because Memphis is the second largest medical center per capita in the United States, the need for blood is pressing and constant. If blood donation is not something you currently participate in, you might consider it; if you do, then a round of applause to you, for you are helping save lives!
For those curious (or just needing a refresher course), here’s a tour of the giving process: Upon arrival at one of Lifeblood’s nine donation centers, a nurse will prick your finger to determine your iron count (mine is usually on the low side) and check your blood pressure, temperature, and other vital signs to ensure that you are healthy enough to donate. Today, the nurse was concerned over whether I weigh enough to give blood; I found this laughable and assured her I am plenty heavier than the required 110 pounds. After this initial screening, you will answer the obligatory electronic questionnaire regarding your medical and travel history, and assuming everything clears, you are ready to rock…er, pump. Once settled into a comfortable giving chair and prepped, the needle is inserted (it’s not so bad!), and all you have to do is relax and occasionally squeeze your hand as the blood flows. After you are two pints lighter, you will be offered a snack (today was cranberry juice and a chocolate chip cookie for me) and are free to go on your merry way.
And that’s all there is to it – with just an hour’s worth of sacrifice, you can save somebody’s life!