You Should Probably Go Donate Blood

In case you are unaware, the US is currently experience a critical shortage of blood. That means that, at any moment, someone who needs a blood transfusion to survive is at risk of not receiving one. Not to put too fine a point on it, but that person could be you or someone that you know and love.

While I won't get into the complexities of what caused the shortage (spoiler: turns out pandemics suck), the long and short of it is that, unless you are incapable of doing so, you should probably go donate blood.

How, you ask?

While there are a number of different blood donation clinics, the one that I am most familiar with is Vitalant, which offers a helpful tool for finding and registering for blood drives in your area. All that's generally required to donate is that you are at least 16 years old and in general good health (which includes some additional specifics, like having a healthy bodyweight, and not being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of donation... which should go without saying). Other, more specific factors that might impact eligibility, such as those that affect the LGBTQ+ community, medications, world travel, and body modifications can be found on this page.

Now, it's important to note that you can only donate blood once every 8 weeks, which is for your own safety, but also does a great job of exacerbating the whole blood shortage thing because enthusiastic donors can't simply make up for the deficit by donating more frequently. So, between donations, it's a good idea to encourage others to also give a pint. As you'll all hopefully soon find out, it's quick, painless, and karmically satisfying.

For more information about the blood shortage itself, I encourage you to peruse recent headlines, and if you'd like to learn more about the process itself, Vitalant has a great page outlining the whole thing.


This is post 020 of #100DaysToOffload


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