Donate Blood, Make a Difference (and win a blood donation challenge!)

By Kathy Ferguson, RN, Parish Nurse

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 1 John 3:17

You can make a difference by donating blood in July.

We are having a blood donation challenge with Redeemer Lutheran Church in July. This challenge is a friendly competition with the goal of seeing who can get more people to participate and donate blood. Even though this is a friendly challenge—we want Bethel to come out on top!

July and November 2017 are special donation months at the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center for Bethel Lutheran Church members. The need for blood increases during holidays and summer months. People are more apt to be traveling and active during these times and thus are at an increased risk for accidents. Each whole blood donation may help as many as three people. The blood you donate with the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program stays at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about blood donation answered by the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program:

Who can donate?

Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old. In Minnesota, 16-years-olds may donate with written consent from a parent or guardian. During your donation appointment, you will complete a brief health questionnaire to make sure blood donation is safe for you and the recipient of your blood.

How long does donation take?

Whole blood donation takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes.

How often may I donate?

You can donate whole blood as often as every 84 days at the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center in Rochester.

Can I donate if I have a cold, flu or fever?

You must be symptom-free from cold, flu or fever on the day of donation.

Can I donate if I have traveled outside the United States in the past year?

Travel to most countries will not prevent you from donating blood. However, travel to some foreign countries may make donors ineligible to donate blood for varying periods of time, depending on whether certain diseases are common in the country visited. The criteria concerning foreign travel are subject to change, so please discuss your eligibility with the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center.

I am under the care of a doctor or dentist for more than routine checkups. Can I donate?

You may still be eligible to donate, depending on your condition. Donation is acceptable after routine teeth cleaning or dental work. The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center can provide further details.

Can I donate if I am taking medication (including over-the-counter medicines)?

Most medications do not prevent you from donating blood. Common medications such as those used to control blood pressure, birth control pills and over-the-counter medications do not affect your eligibility. If you have recently taken antibiotics, you must have completed the course prior to donating.

Can I donate if I have recently had a vaccination?

Donation is acceptable following most vaccinations as long as you are feeling well. Donors vaccinated for chickenpox, measles, mumps, rubella and smallpox or who have received the oral polio vaccine must wait two to four weeks after vaccination.

Can I donate if I recently had a tattoo or ear or body piercing?

Donors with tattoos or ear or body piercings need to speak to Blood Donor Center staff to determine eligibility.

What should I do before I donate?

Before donating, you should eat a good meal and drink plenty of fluids.

 

The 5 Easy Steps of Donating Blood:

  1. Register

Register at Mayo Clinic donor center. You can donate whole blood as frequently as every 84 days.

  1. Complete Questionnaire

Complete a brief health questionnaire to make sure blood donation is safe for you and the recipient of your blood.

  1. Confirm Health Status

Every blood donor is given a mini physical, checking temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin to ensure it is safe to give blood.

  1. Draw Blood

Whole blood donation only takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes.

  1. Have a Snack

Enjoy a delicious cookie and beverage afterwards. (The cookies are yummy!)

 

Bethel members, let’s win the blood donation challenge! Make your appointment today!

Mayo Clinic offers free parking and childcare for whole blood donors during donation.

Contact the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center in Rochester at donateblood@mayo.edu or 507-284-4475 with any questions or to make an appointment.

 

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