If You’re Seated at the Adult’s Table this Holiday, Donate Blood to Help Patients in Need
November 06, 2019
Whether you’re carving a turkey or tofurkey, be sure to also carve out time to make a blood donation. Unlike Thanksgiving leftovers, the American Red Cross cannot stockpile blood -- it expires after 42 days and platelets expire after only 5 days.
This year don’t allow holiday travel to disrupt your blood donation. Use the Red Cross Blood Donor App to find a blood donation center near you wherever you travel, schedule an appointment to give and track your donation until it reaches a hospital to help a patient in need.
Following the tips below will ensure you’re prepared to roll up a sleeve to make a generous and lifesaving donation.
Your whole blood donation appointment will take approximately one hour. It may take four hours to make your Thanksgiving feast but only one to donate blood. To make your donation more comfortable, come prepared. Be sure to wear a t-shirt or a top with sleeves that can be rolled-up easily and bring your favorite book, movie or music to relax with.
You don’t need to know your blood type. According to a national survey conducted in April 2019, on behalf of the Red Cross, more than 53 percent of people believe they need to know their blood type to donate blood—this is simply not true. We need donors of all blood types to ensure a sufficient supply for patients. Donors may be notified of their blood type following their donation when they receive their blood donor card or by creating a profile through the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
You must be in good health. Seasonal illnesses like the flu can affect a blood donor’s ability to give. Most medication will not disqualify you from being able to donate, but if you have questions please visit RedCrossBlood.org.
Rest and relax. After a full day of watching college football or shopping, get a good night’s sleep before your donation and avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous activity afterwards. If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness, stop what you’re doing and sit or lie down until you feel better.
Hydrate and eat a healthy meal before your donation. It is important that before giving blood donors drink plenty of fluids (an extra four 8-ounce glasses of fluids) and eat nutritious foods. Holiday staples are rich in iron and vitamin C such as poultry, red meat, fish, tofu, beans and spinach.
Make blood donation a family affair. While in most states, you must be at least 17 years old to donate blood, there is no upper age limit. In fact, many elderly individuals are some of our most dedicated blood donors. We encourage all seated at the adult’s table to join in helping ensure blood products are available for people in need.
Speed up your donation by completing a RapidPassonline health history questionnaire. RapidPass can also be completed on mobile devices, through the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
Don’t fill up on pie – we’ve got cookies. Blood contains many substances including red blood cells (full of iron), white blood cells, plasma and platelets, plus water and various nutrients and minerals, which is why it’s critical that donors replenish their bodies with post-donation snacks and fluids.
Scheduling a blood donation appointment is EASY! All eligible individuals can make an appointment by using the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). Don’t let holiday travel stop your donation. Find a nearby blood drive by asking Amazon’s Alexa, “Alexa, find a blood drive.”
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.