Donate Blood in the Name of Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month

Let’s talk blood donation.

I recently spoke with a man from a small African country who suffers from hemophilia. He told me that when he was growing up, there was no treatment available whenever he had a bleed.

When he reached his teen years however, his local hospital began whole blood and plasma transfusions for hemophilia patients. But my acquaintance said that it was only used as a last resort. The transfusions were made possible by people who donated blood. Today, treatment for hemophilia is far better. Factor replacement is available, and patients stand a much better chance of living a fairly normal life.

For people with aplastic anemia, the need for plasma is great. And since plasma is only part of your blood, it takes quite a few pints to extract sufficient amounts of plasma to treat patients with this condition.

This brings me to the need for people to step up and roll up their sleeves to donate blood.

Speaking from personal experience, it’s really not too complicated. When you go to the blood bank (or Bloodmobile), you will answer a short questionnaire about your medical history. Then, you’ll have a fingerstick. From that tiny drop of blood, you’ll get a report on your cholesterol in the mail.

If everything is good to go on your questionnaire, a highly skilled phlebotomist will find a vein in your arm and pop the needle into it. The best part is your blood has the potential to help save a life.

Okay, if you’re not all that altruistic, think of it this way: you will be rewarded with a wonderfully sugary snack and a handsome sticker that you can wear on your shirt for the rest of the day, thus gaining the admiration of your friends and family.

To find out where you can go to donate blood, click here.

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn is passionate about raising awareness of rare diseases and disorders and helping people connect with the resources that may ease their journey. Erica has been a caregiver, and is a patient, herself, so she completely relates to the rare disease community--on a deeply personal level.

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