You’re Somebody’s Type

The American Red Cross was on campus for a three-day blood drive during Valentine’s Day week. You may have noticed the “You’re Somebody’s Type” posters hanging around and thought, “Oh, maybe I should donate?” But you didn’t. Why? I know I’m not allowed to donate blood, due to my low white blood cell count, low iron and some military medical shots and travels. I haven’t donated blood since before I joined the military, but I want to. Volunteering is always a viable option at any blood drive but not recommended if you get faint at the sight of blood. Enough about my blood donating woes. Let us hit some facts.

O negative blood is the type that can be used with any existing blood type. It’s commonly used in emergency transfusions where people desperately need blood but either can’t provide their blood type or don’t have time to check. If you have O negative blood and donate, your blood is most likely used during emergency situations. Don’t worry, other blood types are still used in emergency situations, as long as emergency personnel are able to get your blood type in time.

You can save a life when you donate blood. It takes around six weeks to completely replace all the red blood cells in your body that were lost via donation. You are able to bounce back in around three days after donating blood, so you won’t even notice your body replacing the blood cells.

Your blood gets tested, which figures out your blood type and checks for any type of blood or infectious diseases that may make your blood unusable. If that happens, they will contact you via the information you give them when you register to donate blood. Don’t worry, the whole process is confidential unless you choose to share the information yourself.

Who can’t donate blood? It really depends on your health, medical history, medications, pregnancy and sexual preference. When you register, you get the lowdown on whether or not you can donate.

What happens to the donated blood? According to the American Red Cross’s website, the donated blood goes through a five-step process: donate; the blood gets processed; the blood gets tested; the blood gets stored; and the blood gets distributed to hospitals when they need it. Blood is needed by someone in America every two seconds.