Don’t let age deter you from becoming a blood donor; age does not disqualify you from donation. There are many compelling reasons why donating blood is vital, from medical need to the feeling you get from giving the gift of life. Reach out for assistance, if needed, but do your part and donate blood, if you are an eligible donor.
January is National Blood Donor Month; do you donate blood? Eligible people are encouraged to donate blood for vital surgeries across the country that save lives. A shortage in donated blood is a healthcare crisis that affects us all. If physical limitations or medical issues hinder your ability to donate blood, consider mobility solutions and community resources that may assist.
Are you a blood donor? Why you might want to consider donating:
The Need for Blood
The need for blood cannot be overemphasized; in fact, there is a need for blood every two seconds for treating accident victims, cancer patients, hemophiliacs, and surgery patients. It is estimated that approximately one-in-seven of those going to the hospital need blood. Giving blood contributes to the prevention of a national health crisis or a shortage of blood.
No Alternative for Blood
There is no manmade alternative for blood; it can’t be manufactured. Blood for medical treatment comes from donations- be part of preventing a healthcare crisis by donating blood if you are eligible to give. Not sure about your eligibility? More on that later…
Gift of Life
There is something truly special about giving the gift of life by donating blood. Since the nation’s blood supply comes from people that care enough to donate, it is a vital role that you play. Think about how the blood that you donate could save lives, providing another day, another hug, another memory, for someone else. It is the gift of life and there is no other feeling quite like it!
Fast & Easy
Some people are reticent to donate as they feel it takes too much time and they are simply too busy. In fact, donating blood only takes about an hour, though there are variables that could contribute to a longer or shorter wait. Things like whether you have donated before and the number of people that show up to donate impact how long it takes to donate blood. Generally, it is a fast and easy process!
In general, you can never be too old to donate blood. Don’t’ let age be the reason that you don’t try to be a donor. Up until 1978, people over age 65 were not permitted to donate blood. Unless you have other health issues, you should be fine to be a donor.
This brings us to eligibility to be a blood donor: who should and should not donate blood? Surprisingly, a mere 37% of the population is eligible to donate blood, and of these people, only around 10% donate blood regularly.
Some reasons you may not be eligible to donate blood include the following:
- All prospective blood donors are required to fill out a detailed health history form and questionnaire that serves to rule out those with certain medical problems as potential donors. Some of the conditions that bar a person from donating blood include dementia, a recent history of cancer, a recent history of heart disease, viral hepatitis, H.I.V. infection, and certain heart rhythm disorders. Also, if you take certain types of medications, like anticoagulants, you are ineligible to be a donor.
- Blood banks require that blood donors weigh a minimum of 110 pounds typically.
- History of IV drug use, medical infection, or recent travel to specific geographic areas are other reasons you may be deemed ineligible as a blood donor.
Know that each state and blood bank can impose their own guidelines and additional regulations, as they see fit. Some may require additional medical history or documentation for donors over age 75, such as the state of New York. In these instances, prospective donors are evaluated individually before donating blood.
Nobody wants to think of the worst-case scenario, but what if there wasn’t enough donated blood? What is blood was unavailable when you, a loved one – anyone – needed it? If everyone eligible to donate blood became complacent and decided they didn’t need to donate because someone else would, the likely outcome will be a blood shortage and healthcare crisis. Do your part and become a blood donor.
Don’t let your age or physical condition deter you from donating blood. There are area agencies and resources that will help with access and transportation for donors widely; check your municipality to learn more. For mobility solutions, consider talking to the industry experts at Pacific Mobility to increase accessibility and improve everyday living. From stairlifts to grab-bars, we offer mobility aids and devices that preserve independence and enhance safety.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)