What You Need To Know
First and foremost, thank you for your willingness to make a difference by donating blood! It is an important decision to donate because volunteer donors are the only source for lifesaving blood and blood products needed by area patients. At present, we have to draw just under 30,000 units per year to meet the needs of our area. Meaning donors like you are invaluable to the community!
Most people don’t donate because they are unaware that there is a need. They have never been told that there is nor have they ever been asked to donate blood. We would like to see that change. You can help by educating others on the need for blood and the blood donation process. Here are some great points to share:
- Giving blood is safe. Everything used is sterile, new and used only once. You cannot “catch anything” by donating blood.
- To avoid light-headedness, you should get a good night’s rest, drink plenty of fluids, and eat a low-fat meal or snack prior to donating. It is also advisable to avoid nicotine during the hour before your donation.
- The blood donation process takes about an hour and includes some paperwork, a very personal questionnaire and a mini-physical that includes a finger stick to test your iron level. The actual donation process itself only takes 5-20 minutes. The needle insertion will feel like a stick and a sting. Afterwards, you can enjoy a snack, a soft drink and the satisfaction of knowing you helped save a life. Please make sure to inform the Coffee Memorial Staff that it is your first time to donate. It’s our job to make your first-time donor experience a comfortable one.
- Most donors feel great afterwards! The average adult body contains 8-12 pints of blood, and the body makes more blood constantly so the one pint removed will be replaced in no time. After your donation, make sure to drink plenty of fluids and avoid lifting or extreme physical exertion for at least 24 hours.
- State of the art technology and expert medical care cannot save the patient who is in desperate need of blood. Your one donation can help save up to three lives. One hour of your time and one unit of your blood could be the reason someone lives. There aren’t many opportunities to make such an impact on so many people in such a short amount of time.
- Blood is perishable and must constantly be replenished. Blood donors help ensure that blood will be available when you or someone you love needs it. We must always be prepared with a stable blood supply. When the blood supply runs low and you donate to help, it takes 24-48 hours once a unit has been donated to process and test it to make sure it is safe for a patient to receive.
- Coffee Memorial is open at the center six days per week and we conduct numerous mobile blood drives each week. We are realizing more and more that appointments are one of the MOST IMPORTANT keys to a successful donation! Without appointments, our staff does not know the number of donors to expect at any given time. Therefore, it is not unusual for several donors to show up at one time slowing down the donation process and creating long wait times. Appointments promote efficiency and allow more time for our staff to interact with the donor which creates a more pleasant experience for everyone involved. For an appointment to donate, please call 806-331-8800 or toll free at 1-877-574-8800.
Want a great way to keep up with your health information, donation appointments and more! Set up an account on our new donor portal. It is a free, secure, online service that Coffee Memorial Blood Center makes available for donors through our website.
For additional information on types of donations, click on the resource “Frequently Asked Questions” to the right.