Tuesday, January 13, 2015

It's in You to Give

Guest Post By: Dr. Karen L. Dallas - Specialist Physician, Certified Personal Trainer, Nationally-Qualified Physique Competitor

Any of us who have ever donated blood can probably recall that feeling of satisfaction and reward that comes from doing something good for society – for a complete stranger in need of life-saving blood after bad car accident, after a stem cell transplant or after a complicated childbirth (post-partum hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide).

As a physician, I actively encourage all who are able (check with your local Red Cross for your state’s requirements) to become blood donors if they are not already. In fact, you may not realize just how many life-saving treatments can come from your blood! It’s not just Red Blood Cells, Platelets and Plasma as many donation appeals would have us believe (“…you could save up to 3 lives!”). Rather, our plasma can be fractionated even further to produce special proteins used to treat patients with rare bleeding disorders, immune system disorders, and more!
Yet, while being or becoming a blood donor is great, we – especially we women – need to take precautions to keep ourselves healthy as donors. As donors, we should also share our experiences with others, even our own children, so that we can encourage future donors. If your children are of a mature age and are interested in the process of donating blood, contact your local donation center and ask if they are allowed to observe while you donate. I have even taken students on tour of a donation center and it really helped to encourage future donors.

If you are a blood donor, ensure you are taking a multivitamin which contains iron – not all of them do, so be sure to check the label – and eating a healthy, balanced diet. And next time you visit your family doctor, tell him/her that you are a blood donor, have been or have started taking multivitamins but want to ensure you are not iron deplete or deficient. A simple blood test can tell you about your level of Red Blood Cells and about your iron levels.

Certainly, if you feel you have signs and symptoms of anemia, you should see your doctor sooner.

Remember, taking better care of ourselves helps us to take better care of others! Have you donated blood? What was your experience like? Maybe we can help to encourage those who have not donated so they can become future donors.

PS - Just found this great website that can help you explain what blood is made of to your children! 

About the Author: Dr. Karen L. Dallas is a Specialist Physician, Certified Personal Trainer and Nationally-Qualified Physique Competitor. 

18 comments :

  1. I agree with you. It is great to be a donor, but you need to be a healthy one!

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    1. Thanks for the comment and for stopping by!!

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  2. I am with you.. i felt very good after donating platelets to our local blood drive. i will do it again sooner than later.

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    1. That is so awesome! Thank you for donating and for stopping by!

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  3. My boys use to give blood in college, they were involved with a huge group, it was pretty cool!

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    1. I feel like when I was in college there were so many opportunities to donate and now that I am in the "real world" those chances don't come to be, but rather I have to go to them. Does anyone's employer do a blood drive?? That would be interesting to know! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I haven't donated blood before but it's definitely something I think I should do! It will be on my list for this year :)

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    1. I'm glad it is now on your to-do list :) your donation can make such a difference!!

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  5. What a wonderful post. Thanks for the information.

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    1. You're welcome, Amy! Glad you stopped by :)

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  6. It is a great reminder that blood donors save lives. I needed a transfusion many years ago and was fortunate to have a family member make a donation. Thank you for the reminder to give.

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    1. I am glad that your family member was able to donate for you. Whether we know where our donation is going or not - it is still so important to donate when we can! Thanks for sharing your story :)

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  7. So, I'm dropping by from Blogging to Success, and I didn't realize what your post would be about until I read it. The one time I tried to give blood in college, I passed out for quite some time. I have an aversion to needles and blood that is horrible. I do totally agree with you though that people who are strong enough to give blood, absolutely should.

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    1. Glad you have this post a read. I am sorry you didn't have a good experience when donating but your story is real. Many people are in your shoes and that is OK!!

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  8. I passed out the first time I gave blood too...such a weird experience, I had donated plasma a million times, but my body always got the blood back with that. No big deal, that didn't stop me from donating again. It is a great cause to encourage people to donate blood. Thanks.

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    1. Oh man! Sorry you passed out but I am soooo proud that you keep donating!! That is super brave!

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  9. Thanks for the information. I donate blood regularly so this is good to know.

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