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Discussing the Importance of Blood Donation

February 8, 2019
Each year, GBMC hosts four community blood drives. Bri Rogers, GBMC’s Blood Drive Coordinator, talked about why those drives are so important, what the hospital and community are doing to counteract blood shortages, and what it’s like to donate blood.

“Our blood drives are just one of the ways that GBMC gives back to the community,” Bri explained. “Giving back and caring for our patients as we would want our own loved ones to be cared for are core values for us. Just one pint of donated blood can save three lives, so this is a way we can put those values into action.”

If you’re wondering whether you’re eligible to donate during one of GBMC’s blood drives, call 1-866-236-3276, the American Red Cross eligibility line. Making an appointment to donate is easy. Just go to www.gbmc.org/redcross, although you can also donate on a walk-in basis.

Bri said she typically has between 80 and 100 donors at each drive who range in age from their 20s to their 60s. The blood that is collected is used throughout the hospital, especially in the ICUs, oncology and infusion units, and labor and delivery for new mothers in need of a transfusion.

To prepare for your donation, she recommends drinking a lot of water, eating iron-rich foods like spinach and steak, and making sure you eat just before you donate. When you’re finished making your donation, the only precautions you need to take are avoiding heavy exercise and alcohol for 24 hours.

Asked why people should consider donating blood, Bri posed a simple question: “If you could save a life, would you? That’s what blood donation does.”
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