By Naomi Nolte-Carroll, American Red Cross volunteer
It’s one of those things on many people’s lists, something you think you should do some day: donate blood. The reason first-time blood donor John Carroll had never done it before? “I have always wanted to donate, I just didn’t really know how.”
He found out that you can schedule appointments through the American Red Cross Blood Donor App. “I downloaded it on my phone, and was able to schedule my appointment for today,” said John.
On the day of John’s donation, he filled out his RapidPass® on his phone before going to the blood drive location. RapidPass® allows donors to complete pre-donation reading and answer health history questions in advance, saving them time at the donation location.
Once John arrived at the blood drive, he was checked in by a blood donor ambassador. “They just had me pull up my Blood Donor App. There’s a QR-code that comes up when you successfully submit your RapidPass®,” said John. “They scan that, and your ID, and you’re good to go.”
John was surprised by how comfortable – and virtually painless – the procedure is. He attributes it to the professionalism and friendliness of the staff at the blood drive. “They’ve got a group of professionals here that know what they’re doing,” John said. “They were very professional, very courteous.”
After having his blood drawn, John was asked to sit down for fifteen minutes. Especially with first-time donors, it is important to make sure they respond well to donating blood. There are snacks, water and juice available to donors. This helps prevent dizziness or other problems due to low glucose levels or dehydration. “You just sit there, you chill out for fifteen minutes, and after you feel right as rain, you can walk out the door,” said John.
John felt so good after donating blood, and potentially saving lives, that he has already scheduled his second appointment.
Do you want to help save a life like John? You can learn more about blood donation or make an appointment to give by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).