The Gift of Life: Why Donating Blood is Important

The amount of ice cream in one pint of Ben & Jerry’s is the same amount of blood it takes to help save a life. 

The average adult has anywhere between nine and 12 pints of blood circulating throughout his or her body at any given time. That is a little over a gallon of blood on the low end. Immediately after losing blood, the body begins to make more. We are capable of producing a means to help others with cancer, blood disorders and those that are victims of trauma. All it takes is a simple and rather painless appointment with trained phlebotomists.

It’s that simple. 
So, here is a little biology lesson. Almost 50 percent of Americans have type O blood, which is the most common type of blood that is asked for by medical facilities. Type O positive blood is the most common among individuals, with type O negative (the universal donor) being one of the rarest and most sought after types. Under 10 percent of Americans have a blood type of O negative, which makes the supply and demand disproportionate.

According to the Red Cross, a blood transfusion is needed every two seconds. However, there are not enough donations to keep up with the demands due to the simple fact that not enough people donate blood.

Many people find themselves wary of the idea of a needle going into their skin to take the blood or the potential side effects after a blood donation. In all reality, the needle hurts only for the very short duration of it piercing the skin. The side effects, if any, are very mild and resolve with drinking some water and rest.  After 24 hours, you are back to normal knowing that you could have saved up to three people’s lives.

Over 20,000 students are enrolled at Sam Houston State University. Of the thousands of students, a vast majority are eligible to donate blood. For this reason, there is periodically a big donor bus sitting outside the Johnson Coliseum. We are prime candidates to help those who can’t help themselves.

Donating blood is by far the simplest gift that we could give to each other. It takes an hour of your day, costs you nothing and leaves a lasting impression.

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