We don’t often get a chance to save another person’s life but considering that donating just one pint of blood can save up to three lives — maybe we do.
Imagine that. Saving someone’s life without having to run into a burning building, do CPR, or perform the Heimlich maneuver. All you have to do is donate blood. What’s more, considering that you can donate blood every 56 days, you could save about 19 lives each year.
While this seems like an easy way to become an instant hero, only 10 percent of eligible people give blood. Why? Well, 17 percent of non-donors say they never thought about it, and 15 percent say they’re too busy. Add to that the handful of myths and concerns listed here, and the reasons become clear.
Myth: Giving blood hurts.
Fact: For most blood donors, the pain experienced is no more than a needle prick.
Myth: It takes too long.
Fact: The entire process — from when you sign in to the time you leave — takes about an hour.
Myth: I’m not eligible to donate because I have a tattoo, diabetes, low iron, etc.
Fact: While it’s true there are reasons why someone could be ineligible to donate blood, approximately 38 percent of Americans are eligible at any given time, so there’s a good chance you meet the criteria. If you’re not sure, read these Frequently Asked Eligibility Questions.
Myth: Blood can be manufactured artificially, so donation isn’t important.
Fact: Absolutely false! Blood cannot be made artificially. Every single drop must be donated.
Think About It and Make the Time to Donate Blood
Blood shortages are a real thing and supplies often run low during the summer and winter holidays — but it doesn’t have to be this way. If just one more percent of all Americans would give blood, blood shortages would disappear for the foreseeable future.
So, with another New Year upon us, now is the time to resolve to be a blood donor. Visit your local blood bank, donation site, or find a blood drive near you.
Still need more convincing? Read about the Man With the Golden Arm whose blood donations are credited with saving millions of children.