Gift of Giving

Courtesy of Angeline Tan

Courtesy of Angeline Tan

Jada Portillo, Opinion Editor

Although needles can be considered one of the scariest things to ever exist, needles do save lives. Donating blood helps save millions of lives: people who have been in an accident, those who have serious illness, women with complicated pregnancies, people who are missing important vitamins and those undergoing surgery. You might be a little afraid of needles, but not to worry, giving blood takes little to no effort at all and just by sitting in a chair you’re saving someone’s life. 

According to the Kaiser Permanente website you must: 

  • Be at least 17 years old or if you’re 16 get parent permission to donate blood 
  • Weigh at least 110lbs 
  • Be in good health 

Before donating blood, a health professional takes your pulse, does a finger-stick test, checks your blood pressure and temperature. Donating blood usually takes around ten minutes while a machine your hooked up to takes one pint of your blood. The machine separates the red blood cells, platelets, plasma and other blood portions. Unused portions of the blood goes back to the donor. The machine separates the particles in the blood since the patients in need of blood have different needs. 

Before you give blood: 

  • Make sure you feel a-okay 
  • Eat a good breakfast or lunch (avoid fatty foods) 
  • Drink lots of fluids like water 
  • Get lots of sleep (8-10 hours) 

You may feel a little sideways or faint once you’re done so the workers will give you snacksa drink and maybe even prizes like a shirt or gift card. They don’t just give snacks just to give snacks; the workers give snacks and drinks to get your sugar levels back upYour body will take up to twenty-four hours to replace to fluid that was lost while red blood cells take weeks to replace but not to worry You can donate blood again in fifty-six days after you donate. 

After you give blood:

  • Drink lots of fluids to help with replacing the fluids you’ve lost 
  • Eat foods with iron like red meatbeans, fish, etc. 
  • Put off any physical activity for a couple of hours 

Before any blood is donated, your blood goes through tests to make sure you don’t give any serious diseases. If any diseases are found in the blood (like HIV or Hepatitis B and C), the blood is thrown away and you are contacted. 

Blood is such a valuable gift you can give to another person, a choice to donate blood is giving someone the gift of life. You and everyone around the world have the power to save lives so why not do it? Go to your local hospital, school blood drive or anywhere you can donate and save a life. 

 For more information visit this website:

Donating Blood | Kaiser Permanente