www.whyville.net May 7, 2007 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Give Blood, Give Life

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"I'm afraid of needles." "Lots of people do it, they don't really need me." "I'm just so busy, you know?"

These excuses are commonly given to skip out on giving blood, but when you dig deeper, they seem kind of absurd. Which is greater: your fear of needles, or your will to save a person's life? Will a half hour of discomfort kill you? Statistics say only 5 measly percent of eligible Americans donate blood!

The process of donating blood goes something like this: You will need ID to prove you are 17 or older. If you are 16 or younger, you'll have to wait. You will sign a few forms and read a few pamphlets, and head over to the private booths where you'll get a mini physical and a private health history interview to make sure your blood is as healthy as possible.

They'll check your temperature and other things to make sure you are well and losing some blood won't hurt you. You have to weigh 110 pounds. Then, the moment arrives! You sit in a chair and they do their job quickly. A needle goes in and a little less than a pint of your blood goes out.

It will take around 10 minutes for the bag to fill, but you will be relaxed and you don't have to watch if you don't want to. Think happy thoughts. Then, BAM! You're done! You are advised to go sit and eat free refreshments and drink some juice. Relax, be calm for a while after you're done. You don't want to do too much strenuous activity right afterwards.

Think of this: if your little sister was dying and needed a blood transfusion, wouldn't you undergo ten minutes of discomfort to save her life? All around the world, peoples' little sisters, brothers, parents, and grandparents are dying. In fact, every two seconds, someone is needing a blood donation. Ten minutes isn't much, guys. And even though a lot of us are too young to donate, we can look forward to it when we're 17, and encourage our parents to do it!

Common excuses exposed:

Excuse: I'll lose too much blood. I'm weak enough as it is!
Exposed: The average human carries 10-12 pints of blood, and you'll lose less than one! Plus, your body will replace it within 24 hours.

Excuse: It will take too much time out of my day!
Exposed: The whole process takes about an hour, with the actual donation taking approximately 10 minutes. 1/24th of your day isn't too much to ask, and it is only once every eight weeks!

Excuse: I'm old, I'm sick, I've been ill lately. They won't want it.
Exposed: Why not just try? It's worth a shot, and if your blood is unhealthy, they won't take it for safety.

Anticipating being an every-day life saver,

Author's Note:Resources: American Red Cross blood page -- www.givelife2.org, American Red Cross Homepage -- www.redcross.org


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