January is National Blood Donor Month. Blood donors are needed badly ever year. In Canada, only 7% of the population has the same blood type but 100% of the population can use it. When blood is donated it is divided up into different parts so all of it can be put to good use. Your red blood cells are compatible with all other blood types. At some point in their lives 50% of the population will need a blood donation or know someone who needs a donation.
Facts About Blood Donation
- A third of all blood donors are over 50 and produce about 45% of blood donations.
- Check with your doctor if you have health concerns regarding blood donation.
- Just as with other donors, before you donate blood you should be a healthy weight and not have had a cold or the flu recently.
- Those with cardiovascular problems should confirm with their healthcare provider that it’s alright for them to donate blood.
- Those with the HIV virus should never donate blood as this can spread the virus to those who receive any of the blood components.
- If you do decide to be a blood donor, get a good night’s rest the night before donating. Also, drink lots of water and have a full meal.
- If you are a first time donor you must be capable of performing normal tasks for your age group.
- If you have had cancer, in most cases you can donate blood 5 years after your treatment and you are cancer free.
Blood donors bring hope to many individuals who without a blood donation would not live. One third of all blood donations are used to help those with cancer. Donated blood is also used during open heart surgery, joint replacements, childbirth and for many other conditions and diseases. To read more about National Blood Donor Month, click here.