January is National Blood Donor Month

Blood donations typically drop off during and immediately after the winter holidays, which makes National Blood Donor Month in January a critical time for all the blood donors. Busy schedules, holiday breaks from school, inclement weather and winter illnesses contribute to fewer blood and platelet donations. You just have to spare 15 minutes and you can actually save 3 lives. What better way to take a New Year resolution.

If you are a first time donor then here’s what to expect:

Find your local blood bank: Make sure that you select a reputed and certified blood bank. Take all the necessary documents with you before going for donation

Health checkup: Get a mini physical before the donation. Be in good general health and feel good. Don’t donate when you’re not at your best. Be at least 17 years of age in most states. Get your blood checked for any infection or disease.

A few drops to start: A simple finger prick will test for iron levels, and your temperature, heart rate, and other vitals will be taken. You’ll also be asked to review some educational material.

Time to donate: It’s normal to feel nervous when you come along to donate – particularly if this is your first time. Distraction is the key. You may want to bring a friend to wait with you, or feel free to bring a book to read or listen to some music while you donate. Donating usually takes 45 minutes to an hour; giving platelets takes about 2 hours. But your actual time spent giving is just about 10 minutes.

Sit back and relax

You can just lie down and relax as the process is very painless and easy.

Healthy for the donor

Donating blood is very beneficial as you get free blood tests, calorie are burnt, reduces the risk of heart disease, increases your blood circulation and most of all the satisfaction of saving lives.

Rest and snack: After the donation you will be given good healthy snack and juice and only after you feel good you will be sent back.