COLORADO SPRINGS — On Thursday, September 24th, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the UCHealth Memorial Administrative Center [uchealth.org] on East Pikes Peak Avenue, you can help save a life by taking an hour of your time and donating blood.
Liz Lambert is the Communications Manager for Vitalant Blood Donation, which is partnering all month long with hospitals across Colorado. “This is one our ‘Donate for Mothers: Labor of Love Blood Drives.’ All through September we are hosting events for people who want to attribute their donations to mothers and families affected by pregnancy-related blood loss.”
Blood loss related to birth may not be the first need that comes to mind, but Liz says, “You don't hear about them like you do car crashes or other needs for blood,” Liz said. “We want to ensure that we are supporting mothers and those families who need that blood to sustain their lives.”
And Liz points out that donating blood or blood products will always make a difference for someone else. “Whether it's a planned event like a medical disorder that requires a blood transfusion, or it’s a shooting or car accident, or something unexpected - we have to be ready for all those situations.”
Personally I also learned the hard way that donating isn't something best done spur of the moment. The last time I donated blood I was 20 and did fine during the donation, but did get a little light-headed after and had to stick around and drink some orange juice and lay on a cot. I thought for sure those days were behind me now that I am in my 50s. I was asked if I had eaten in the last 2 hours, and I had consumed my normal snack for that time of day of a protein bar and a protein drink, about 500 calories in all. I became light-headed in the donation chair, and I am told I fainted for a few seconds. I can’t say enough about the Vitalant staff who were quickly and calmly helping me through it all. I had no idea I had checked out for a few seconds, until the whole thing was over, and I was asked if I knew what happened.
The need for blood is so important, that even if you have reservations and are nervous about fainting or feeling dizzy, my experience taught me that those who are collecting the blood will take excellent care of you and make sure you are safe. Make sure to communicate with everyone in the donation chain about your concerns if you have them. A little time and few snacks had me feeling like myself again before I left.
Liz says a little bit of planning goes a long way. “When you come to donate we want to make sure that you have eaten a good meal within two hours of coming and make sure you hydrate 24 hours or so before you come in.”
Liz also points out extra precautions are in place to keep donors and workers safe from COVID-19, and it is best if you call, or jump on-line to make an appointment, but walk-ins will certainly be accepted on Thursday. When you make an appointment, many of the initial screening questions will be taken care of before you arrive, and will lessen the amount time it takes to get you in the chair and donating.
To learn more about the Donate for Mothers: Labor of Love [vitalant.org] campaign, and to make an appointment to donate this month, or anytime you can call 1-877-258-4825 or visit their website at https://www.vitalant.org/Home.aspx [vitalant.org]
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