All it takes to save three lives is an hour of time and a cookie. Kristen Stancil with the American Red Cross speaks with co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick on today’s Around Atlanta segment on Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio.
Stancil explains that the Red Cross exists to help the community, whether that is through donating blood to people in hospitals or even victims of natural disasters.
“We are here to alleviate suffering,” said Stancil. “The need for blood is constant,” and every two seconds someone needs blood. “That blood can only come from generous volunteers.” To put a fine point on it, the need for blood never goes away. Once it’s been collected, it takes two to three days to process and it has a shelf life of 42 days. It is perishable.
The good news is that the Red Cross makes it easy to donate. Interested donors can verify eligibility online; there are several factors, which may defer a donation such as travel or certain medications. Once a donor arrives at a donation location or at a community blood drive, they receive a mini-physical and give a brief health history. A RapidPass, available on the Red Cross website, can shave about 15 minutes off the process if filled out before arriving to donate.
After the staff takes the blood, which usually lasts from eight to 10 minutes, donors receive a cookie and juice. In the case of donors who do not respond well to the donation, passing out does happen and the staff is highly trained to respond accordingly. Stancil says to keep these chances at bay, donors should get a good night’s sleep the night before, eat a healthy meal the day of donating, drink plenty of water and allow the staff to take care of them in the instance of a reaction.
Atlanta has four donation sites that are open six days a week. Additionally, there are blood drives all over town, but they are always looking for more drive locations. To learn about where to donate, what the eligibility requirements are or how to host a drive, listen to today’s segment and visit www.redcrossblood.org.
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