Give life, give blood
Published 1:02 pm Monday, November 17, 2003
Want to do some good without spending a lot of time or money? Want to give a gift that only you can give?
It is simple, it is free, and it is basically painless.
The demand for blood is almost always greater than the supply, and as the holidays approach, the supply is hit with a double whammy. People are busy and don't get around to donating, and an increase travel volume means that the need is greater that ever.
Statistics show that less than 4 percent of Alabamians who are eligible donate. That is compared to a national average of 5 percent.
That is a sad statistic, especially when it is also known that one person in three will need blood at some time in their life. That is 33 percent.
So if only 5 percent give, and 33 percent need, it is patently obvious the need is critical most of the year.
So why don't more people give?
They are afraid, they think it will take too long, it will hurt, they might catch a blood-borne disease.
None of those things are the case.
Donating takes eight minutes, give or take a few for paperwork.
The needle prick is just that, a pinch on the arm.
Every donor has a new, fresh disposable needle that is discarded after use.
So why should someone give blood?
Blood transfusions are not done arbitrarily. There is always a reason for giving a patient blood. Many would die without blood.
There is no substitute for blood.
Each pint of blood is broken out into three components, and that means that each donation will help three people.
Those are people who have had accidents, or babies, people who have cancer or kidney disease. They are people who have been lucky enough to have had organs donated for transplant, but need the blood to go along with it.
They are your neighbor and your pastor and they are children in your children's class.
So if it doesn't hurt, and it is free, and it does so much good, why not make a commitment to give every time you are eligible, which is every eight weeks, or every 56 days?
It does more good than you may ever know.
And they will give you a Moon Pie.