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by Julianna Celestin

January is National Blood Donor Month
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Happy new year from the entire editorial staff of Today's Patient. In this first issue of the year, we bring you a wide range of articles about important patient-related issues. We invite you to join us each month as we explore the subjects that matter most to you. We always welcome your feedback and your ideas for future issues.

Wishing everyone a healthy and successful year!

Bri Allison

national blood donor month.jpg

by Julianna Celestin

On December 31,1969, President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation designating January as National Blood Donor Month. The new monthly observance was meant to honor voluntary blood donors and to encourage more people to give blood at a time when more blood is needed.


Why Should People Donate Blood?

Blood donation is a vital part of healthcare. Each day, thousands of people need donated blood and blood products as life-sustaining and [or] life-saving measures. And by donating blood, it can help these people. A decision to donate blood can save a life, or even several if your blood is separated into its components such as cells, platelets, and plasma. Donating blood can help people who have:

  • Internal and [or] external bleeding due to injury and [or] accident.

  • Have sickle cell disease or any other illness that affects the blood.

  • Undergoing cancer treatment.

  • Being treated for an inherited blood disorder.

  • Undergoing surgery such as cardiovascular and [or] transplants.

Who is Eligible to Donate Blood?

  1. Must be at least 18 years of age (varies by state).

  2. Valid ID and permanent address.

  3. Be in good health.

  4. Weigh at least 110 pounds.

  5. Not have any tattoos and [or] piercings within the last four months.

The Process of Donating Blood

The process of donating can be tedious and worrisome for first time donors; however, the process is quite simple.

  1. Registration: Staff and volunteers will greet the blood donors to go over eligibility and donation information. A government issued ID and [or] any other form of photo identification is needed.

  2. Medical History and Physical: Technicians will check your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and hemoglobin level present in a small blood small. Also, you will be questioned on recent travel and health history. These questions will be asked only to safeguard your own health and the health of the person receiving your blood. Any personal information that you provide will be kept confidential.

  3. Blood Donation: the total time for blood donation takes approximately 8 to 10 minutes in a sterile environment.

Once done, you will be provided with a light snack to help slightly increase your glucose levels back to normalcy. One should avoid strenuous activities and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.

Benefits of Donating Blood

  • It offers information about your general health.

  • Regular blood donation has been linked reduce cardiovascular risk factors

  • Allows for the replenishment of blood supply.

  • Studies from the American Journal of Epidemiology and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggest that regular blood donation may lower the risk of cancer by releasing oxidized iron from the bloodstream. Oxidized iron, which produces harmful free radicals, can build up in the bloodstream and cause cancers, particularly those of the liver, lung, colon, and esophagus.

  • Regularly donating blood can improve liver health by removing excess iron from the body. Donating blood on a regular basis can remove excess iron from the body before it has a chance to deposit into the liver.

Who should NOT GIVE BLOOD?

Donors are often asked not to donate blood for a period in the interests of their own safety. As a direct result, you SHOULD NOT GIVE BLOOD if your own health might suffer. Therefore, one should not be a blood donor if ...

  • You are feeling unwell.

  • You are anemic.

  • Are pregnant, have been pregnant within the last year, and [or] breastfeeding.

  • Are taking certain medications such as antibiotics. 

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Julianna Celestin is an ambitious-driven graduate from Florida State University, where she has respectively obtained degrees in Family & Child Sciences and Public Health with a Minor in Child Development. She maintains academic plans to pursue a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare and later a Ph.D. in Public Health with a specific concentration in Health Systems Research. Julianna possesses an immense interest in adequately providing better healthcare while simultaneously equitably distributing adequate resources and high-quality care to those in fundamental need. She is passionately committed to progressively improving the social efficiency and quality of healthcare services that are being provided and not provided to those underserved, underrepresented, and vulnerable. Julianna was one of the key authors of our new book, Reasonable Expectations: The Patient Side of Patient Centered Care.

January 2023 page 1

copyright 2023 by The Power of the Patient Project

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