#SIISaturday - Explaining the Donation Process
Our Miss Hastings Scholarship Program blood drive with the Red Cross is only 19 days away!
To best prepare our incredible participants for their donation experience, this Social Impact Initiative Saturday, we will discuss the four different components of the blood donation process.
Overall, the entire blood donation experience lasts about an hour. The actual blood donation takes only about 8-10 minutes.
Upon arrival, you will be greeted at a Registration/Sign-In desk. During the COVID-19 pandemic, your temperature will be taken before entering the building.
At this table, you will go over some basic blood donation information, show ID, and be asked if you have or could complete a RapidPass, if you elect not to, you will have to read over blood donation materials before the next step.
My favorite part about being a regular donor with the American Red Cross is that after your first donation, this registration table can scan your digital donor card through the Blood Donor App, easily accessible on a mobile device.
In addition, if you complete a RapidPass, you practically breeze through the registration process.
At the registration table, you will be given a specific sticker with your name, appointment time if applicable, and your time of arrival. This sticker will be placed on a table for the American Red Cross staff to utilize and call each donor to the next step of the process.
The next step of the donation process is a Health History screening. This step of the process will also be faster if you complete a RapidPass.
At this station, you will answer or reiterate a few questions about your health and travel history in a private interview.
At this time, the Red Cross staff will also perform a mini-physical exam, checking your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and hemoglobin level.
It is important to note that during this Health History screening, you may be deferred for many reasons. The Red Cross staff will give you a guideline on how or when to donate looking forward. For example, I have been deferred because of a low hemoglobin level, related to iron intake, as well as the location I had my ears pierced.
Being deferred is extremely common, and one should not give up on trying to save lives if you experience a deferral!
After being cleared with your health history and physical exam, you will be guided to a donation table, where the blood donation will take place.
The Red Cross staff then prepares their materials for your donation, scanning empty donation bags, and confirming your identity often.
Once everything is ready, to begin your donation, the Red Cross staff will clean your arm and insert a brand new, sterile needle for the blood draw. You will usually be given something to hold and move in your hand, to make the donation process go smoothly.
Depending on the type of donation, your experience may be slightly different from the whole blood donation experience.
For a whole blood donation, once a pint of whole blood has been collected, the donation is complete, and the Red Cross staff will place a bandage on your arm and give you instructions for your post-donation experience.
Every donor has a different level of comfort regarding their blood donation experience. The Red Cross staff go above and beyond to ensure they are feeling well and that the donation experience is as positive as possible.
After the donation, a donor will be guided to the refreshment area, where you’ll have a snack and something to drink. You will be asked to stay for about 10-15 minutes to recover, and then you are able to leave the donation facility and continue your normal routine.
Overall, the Blood Collections staff and volunteers make the donation process a breeze. If you have any additional questions about the blood donation process, please visit the Red Cross website, or specifically, https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/blood-donation-process/donation-process-overview.html.
Stay tuned to learn more about the after-donation process and experience!