Health and Wellness: The gift of life

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Health Department
Special to Dallas County News and Perry Chief

Blood donation is sometimes referred to as the gift of life. For persons suffering from chronic disease or undergoing major surgery, or victims of an accident, receiving donated blood may make the difference between survival and death.

How does blood donation work, and why is it helpful? When blood is lost, it must be replaced. Even though research has developed amazing medications, the components of our blood – red cells, platelets, and plasma, continue to outperform synthetic products.

There are three main reasons individuals don’t donate blood. Some think they’ll get infected while donating. In fact, the donation process is done in a sterile process. Other people fear that donating blood will run down their own health, but our bodies are constantly making new cells, and will replace the small amount of blood taken for donation. Third, some persons are afraid of needles and/or don’t like to see blood. Be open about your feelings when donating, and the staff will protect you from anything you find unpleasant; they may provide a distraction or encourage you to use a mobile device while donating.

World Blood Donation Day is June 14. Contact Dallas County Health Department to connect to a blood donor center near you.