I donated blood for the first time yesterday. I recently did an at home test to see what blood type I am and it inspired me to donate blood. Then I saw Sam Stoners post and I went out and did it yesterday.

Blood Types Explained

There are two main components of blood type

1. Red Blood Cell Type

  • A
  • B
  • AB
  • O

2. Antigens

  • Positive (+)
  • Negative (-)

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What does this mean?

Certain blood types can only accept certain other blood types as transfusions. The following charts do a good job at explaining it.

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My Experience as a First Time Blood Donor 

American Red Cross

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My test read O- which is a double edged sword. On the negative side I can only accept blood from other O- types but on the positive I’m whats known as a universal donor. So I can donate blood to anyone. For this reason O- is used often in emergency rooms and situations when you don’t have time to determine the patient’s blood type. So it is important that I donate blood to help ER patients and for anyone else who is O- because it’s the only type we can receive and it is already in short supply.

Donating

I saw Sam’s post and upon his recommendation I looked up the Red Cross website and found a drive that was currently in process and I went for it.

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I showed up to the Red Cross location and went inside and was greeted by an older gentleman, I explained this was my first time and learned that I didn’t have an appointment so I would have to wait on stand by. I did and had to learn about the eligibility requirements http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood….

I was eligible so I continued a little while later into a room with a nurse and we went over the requirements as well as my wight, height, current medications and blood pressure. She also took a blood sample with a finger prick.

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Next I was ushered into the back room where the actual donation process would begin. I sat down in a bed and was prepped and swabbed before getting the needle inserted and my blood drawn.

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The process took about 10 minutes but felt faster to me and at the end I felt a little funny but was starting to feel pretty good about donating because of the fact that my blood could save up to 3 lives.

After bandaging my arm I went out to the lobby to have some juice and cookies to recover. I felt a little lightheaded and when a nurse checked on me and I said that I felt this way they immediately went into a panic mode and got me into the back room on a cot and had me lie down and put my knees up and breath into a paper bag and put cold towels on my forehead and neck. I think it was an overreaction to my condition but its always better to err on the side of caution. After another 10 minutes or so I felt fine again and was allowed to leave.

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I was really apprehensive about going, I thought it would be fine but was also worried I would be in a lot of pain for the whole time which wasn’t true in my case. When the needle is inserted there is pain for a few seconds and then it goes away. I was also worried about fainting after which I can minimize for the next donation by being better hydrated and eating breakfast and lunch first.

Overall, I’m glad I went and donated. I think next time I will make sure to not skip breakfast and to drink more water to minimize the lightheadedness. I always think it’s worthwhile to help people and I’m glad that I could. I would highly recommend and encourage people to go donate as it is vital to others survival for people to donate. Plus you get to feel pretty good about yourself afterwords and know that you may have just made the difference in someone else’s life.

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To find this post and others like it I would encourage you to check out my personal blog at momentumkr.blogspot.com.