I first attempted to donate blood as a junior in high school. The nurse weighed me and politely turned me down because I didn’t weigh the required 110 lbs. necessary in order to donate. She took pity on me because I so badly wanted to help out so she gave me one of those free tee shirts in an extra large to thank me. Fast forward a decade later and I am proudly no longer a virgin to donating blood, and I’m here to tell you what you should know about donating blood.
Why Should I Donate?
Other than altruism – when you give blood, you literally give life; I can’t really think of any other reasons to donate blood. Medically speaking, the only benefit that I’ve read that blood donation can give the body is iron reduction (this, of course, would be horrible for those who are anemic). Refrain from donating blood if you’ve got an iron deficiency to begin with.
If you’re looking to get money out of sharing the precious life fluid that courses through your veins, the only thing I can think of to say is fuck off. Money for blood? That’s a no.
You will however, learn your HIV status, as well as your blood pressure, resting heart rate, and cholesterol levels after you’ve donated.
I always thought of it this way: If I or anyone I know needed a blood transfusion for any reason, I’d be praying there’s clean blood that has been donated that is compatible.
Do I Need to Know My Blood Type?
You do not need to know your blood type in order to donate, but you’ll learn it afterwards. They’ll send you your information via mail. In case you were wondering about blood types and which is the compatible donor and recipient, here’s an easy chart to follow.