So I got to enjoy an extra long weekend with a day off on Friday, and my day started the way most do… with my coffee and a bagel.
My wife looked at me and said: “Let’s go for a walk after breakfast and go to the blood donor clinic!”
I gave her that look… you know, the one with the raised eyebrow that says: “Really?”
Now I have given blood before, but it had been a while. How long? Well, it wasn’t until I looked at my donor card and realized it had been *ahem* THREE YEARS since my last donation!
Full disclosure: I’m.Not.A.Fan.Of.Needles.
But, like any good husband, I nodded and said: “OK.”
All the way to the blood donor clinic, I was protesting telling my wife how much I hated needles; to which she replied: “… yes, but what if YOU were in the hospital and needed that blood?” Damn. Sometimes there’s just no arguing with her.
Upon entering the clinic you are greeted warmly by the staff there and the whole process is pretty smooth. Now they have tablets for you to securely fill out the questionnaire and once you are done they give you a number, ask you to read the information pamphlet and wait to be called by a nurse. Once they call you in they will prick your finger (it really does feel like a pinch) and squeeze out a little blood to test your Iron level and then they check your blood pressure. Once that quick intake is done it’s time to go and give blood.
You will be brought to a chair where another nurse will explain to you the entire process while she prepares the needle and the collection bags. The whole ‘needle-part’ takes between 4-10 minutes while about half-a-litre of blood is extracted and here’s the amazing part. That (almost) 500ml of blood will save up to THREE lives! The blood they take from you is separated into 3 products: platelets (which are used in Cancer & Leukemia treatments), red blood cells (which are given to car accident victims and people in surgery), and finally, plasma (which is used to treat burn victims and people with blood disorders).
Plus, when you’re done… you get free snacks! The whole process takes about an hour, and really isn’t that about the best way you can spend an hour of your time, helping to save lives?
According to Canadian Blood Services, less than 4% of the Canadian population donates blood, and there’s no reason that number should be so low! After all, we all have it… why not share it?
Across Canada more than 150,000 donations are needed before July 1st just to meet the demand for blood and blood products… so come on, roll up YOUR sleeve and give blood today!
For more information or to book your appointment visit www.blood.ca