Donate Blood for Community Health
Donating blood products is vital to community health, and the need for blood is constant. If you’re healthy, you can still donate while engaging in social distancing to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
We invite you to join us at the Wayne UNC Health Care Auditorium on Wednesday, November 4 for our Community Blood Drive.
As long as you are healthy, feeling well and meet the criteria, you can donate blood. Those criteria usually involve being over the age of 17 – or 16 with parental consent – and passing a screening administered by blood drive workers.
We encourage donors to make an appointment online, so they can remain in their vehicles until it’s time to donate, and to follow these guidelines:
- Potential donors who are on certain types of medications like antibiotics or blood thinners will not be able to give blood
- Staff will check for fever and ask screening questions to ensure positive overall health
- Donors are asked not to bring minors to the blood drive site. They will not be able to stay in the car during blood donation.
TBC is taking extra precautionary measures to ensure donation sites are clean and safe places to donate blood, wearing gloves and changing them often and frequently wiping down donor-touched areas.
What Happens During a Blood Donation?
First, you will fill out forms about your health history and then undergo a quick physical to determine whether it’s safe for you to donate blood. If you are eligible to donate, a healthcare professional will sanitize an area of your arm and insert a sterile needle. The donation process usually takes around eight to 15 minutes, and it totals one pint of blood plus a few vials used for testing.
Once the donation is complete, the healthcare professional will bandage your arm. You’ll stay at the facility a little while longer for monitoring, and staff members will provide some light snacks to help you recover. Once you’re back home, you should drink about four additional cups of water to replace lost fluids and refrain from vigorous activities. “Be sure to keep your bandage on for at least five hours, and avoid any strenuous activities for the rest of the day. If at any point you begin to feel dizzy, you should lie down and elevate your feet,” advises Patrick Lynch, Director, Laboratory Services, Wayne UNC Health Care.
What Happens After a Blood Donation?
The pint of blood will go to a processing center, where equipment will separate it into three parts—plasma, red blood cells, and platelets—and then store it until a hospital in need requests it. The vials of blood go to a testing facility, where staff will test them for various infectious diseases and confirm your blood type. The processing center receives the results, and if your blood tests positive for any diseases, they will discard your donation and notify you.
People who have fully recovered following a COVID-19 diagnosis may have antibodies in their blood plasma that can help those with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections. This, however, is a completely different donation than the one you’ll be able to do at this blood drive.
Why Should I Donate Blood?
A single whole blood donation can save up to three lives. Your contribution might help someone experiencing a medical emergency, such as severe burns or blood loss, or serve as a regular treatment for someone with a medical condition like cancer or sickle cell disease. Blood has a short shelf life, so frequent contributions are helpful for keeping blood stores up. In most cases, you will be able to give blood 12 to 16 weeks after your previous donation.
You can make a difference in people's lives, one pint at a time.