Thursday, October 13, 2011

38 Things: Donate Blood

It's nice to get off to a quick start on my list of 38 Things I Want to do Before I Turn 39 with something that is good for other people and not just me.  I was in the middle of typing up my new yearly list yesterday and already had donate blood on the list when, out of the blue, the Cascade Regional Blood Services called and asked when I wanted to come in and donate blood again!

It turns out I have some rare blood ( B- ) and they wanted me back in asap, but of course they always encourage anyone eligible to donate as much as they can.

Some interesting facts about blood:

Did you know blood only has a storage life of 42 days?

Red blood cells are produced in bone marrow.

Plasma is the liquid part of your blood that moves around your white and red blood cells and your platelets.

Platelets help control bleeding.

Red Blood Cells are round and tiny. About 3,000 red blood cells end-to-end would equal one inch. An average adult's body contains about 25 trillion red blood cells.

Every three seconds someone needs blood.

37% of the US population is eligible to donate – only 5% of those eligible donate regularly.

How to get involved?  Contact your local blood bank and set up an appointment to see if you are eligible.  If you have traveled to countries with malaria, you are typically ineligible for a year.  If you had hepatitis and even if you are not a carrier, you are ineligible.  That's why it makes it extra important that every one who can donate does.

Next time I am at the clinic they are going to do a count of my platelets to see if I am eligible to donate those.  They only have a shelf life of 5 days but it takes a good hour for them to draw the blood out of your arm, bang the blood around in a centrifuge to separate out the platelets and put the blood back inside you.  Crazy, huh?


  1. good job!!!! this was on my last list and i never did it due to too much running. :( i'm totally adding this to my new list again. thank you for the reminder!

  2. One thing I have to say, is that the more you run, the less this bothers me, dizzy wise. They keep asking, how are you feeling and I keep saying, fine, am I supposed to feel bad?