Since your blood can save lives, what other gift could be more fulfilling this holiday season? Red Cross needs supplies of blood especially during holidays, when the rate of accidents increases.
For the same reason, there are also fewer donors during this time. People leaving the city, severe weather, flu and other seasonal illnesses, higher stress and rush – they all keep more regular donors away, being at the same time the reasons which could trigger more accidents and increase the need for blood.
While all blood types are helping, those with rare blood types have the potential of saving lives with a low chance of survival. So people with O blood type but also those with A, B and AB negative should consider donating most than ever.
If you were waiting for a good example, John O’Loughlin is your man. The Red Cross in New York awarded him the 2015 blood donor award at their Real heroes Breakfast celebration earlier this month. Over the last 23 years he donated 240 units of blood, or 30 gallons, which is the amount of blood contained by the body of 23 people.
O’Loughlin donates blood every month or even two times a month ever since 1992. He actually used to donate since 1968 but he wasn’t a regular donor at that time.
The man does double blood donations in addition to whole blood donations, which involves a machine drawing two units of blood and returning plasma and platelets back to the body. But sometimes he also does platelet donations, which involves the machine to separate the platelets from everything else and inject the rest back in the vein.
The platelet donation is a two hours process so O’Loughlin is really dedicated to his self-assigned lives-saving mission. He also encourages his friends and family to donate so his daughter has also became a regular donor. On the other side, his son passes out when he sees blood so there’s no chance for this to become a father-son tradition.
O’Loughlin advices anyone to at least try giving blood one time. He says that if you fail, you will still live with the thought that you tried to save a life but if you manage to give even one unit of blood, you have already saved a life.
Whole blood donations take about one hour, but the process of actually giving blood doesn’t last more than 15 minutes. If you are in good health and have an hour to spare just remember that your blood can save lives!
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