Blood Donation Shortages

Madi Hollinger, Staff writer

The American Red Cross is experiencing the worst blood shortage of all time, as a result they are left deferring patients that require major surgery and organ transplants. According to GivingBlood.Org, about one in every seven people entering the hospital are in dire need of blood, and a small donation of one pint of blood can save up to three lives. 

Starting at age 17 and 110 pounds, healthy young adults can begin to give blood every 3 months. However, only 27% of people who can donate blood do. This is why everybody should make the time to donate blood.

There are many misconceptions when it comes to donating blood, for example many think that you may not give blood if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol. However, as long as your blood is otherwise healthy and you have a blood pressure of 180/100 you are eligible to give blood. If you are on a Cholesterol medication, you may still give blood as long as you make a nurse aware of it. Although there are some medications that may eliminate you from being eligible to give blood, for example Accutane, most do not limit you. Many people are under the assumption that people who have tattoos or piercings cannot donate. However, this is mostly untrue. If you receive a tattoo or piercing with a reusable needle, you must wait 3 months before giving blood. This is so that your wound can heal completely and you can ensure that there is no infection. Giving blood has certain strict guidelines, but if you understand them you will probably find that you are eligible to donate.

The most common misconception is that enough people already donate blood, this is completely untrue. Donated red blood cells must be used within 42 days. Donated platelets must be used within 5 days. Because of this, donated blood needs to be replenished constantly. This means that hospitals constantly need new donors. Locally, Henry Mayo Hospital offers blood donation daily, and they appreciate the donation.  Students, parents, and teachers should donate blood, because it is a quick and easy procedure that can save lives.