Each year more than one million Americans join with the American Red Cross to provide vital services in their communities through volunteer work. When you volunteer with the Red Cross, you become part of a group of people who truly make a difference in the lives of their fellow Americans. And, by volunteering for Red Cross Blood Services, you will be helping patients in serious medical need.
To find out more about volunteering in the Greater Salem, Portland and Vancouver Areas, contact:
Five Excuses for Not Giving Blood
1. I don't like needles.
Nearly everyone feels that way at first. However, most donors will tell you that you feel only a slight initial pinch, and about 7-10 minutes later, you are finished and headed for the refreshment area. If you take the time to make one donation, you'll wonder why you ever hesitated.
2. No one ever asked me.
Consider yourself asked! Through donated blood, hospital needs can be met./ Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
3. I'm afraid I'll acquire HIV.
It is not possible to get HIV by donating blood at the American Red Cross. A new, sterile needle is used for each donor and discarded afterwards.
4. I don't want to feel weak afterward.
Donating blood should not adversely affect a healthy adult because the body has plenty of blood (10-12 pints). You will donate less than one pint, and your body which constantly makes new blood, will replace the donated volume within 24 hours. After a brief rest, most people continue their usual activities after donating.
5. They won't want my blood.
If you have doubts, check with you physician. The qualified staff on duty at a blood drive or donor center will also review your medical history with you. There is no upper age limit to donate blood with the Red Cross. Many medical conditions do not prevent you from donating blood, or may have done so only temporarily in the past.
Five Reasons for Giving Blood
1. It's convenient and easy.
It takes about an hour to give the gift of life. The actual donation time is only about 7-10 minutes.
2. Become somebody's hero.
You may give a newborn, a child, a mother or father, a brother or a sister another chance at life. You may also help to ensure blood is there when you, or someone close to you, may need it. Most people don't think they'll ever need blood, but many do. More than 38,000 donations are needed every day in communities across the United States.
3. Each donation can help save more than one life.
Your whole-blood donation is separated into different components that potentially can be given to multiple patients. You can give whole blood every 56 days. Many donors choose to give as often as possible, up to six times a year!
4. I have a rare blood type.
Rare or special blood is almost always in short supply. There is a constant need for these blood types.
5. It's the right thing to do.
What are Platelets?
Platelets are essential for blood clotting and are produced in the bone marrow of healthy people. Platelets are only usable for five days, so the supply must be constantly replenished.
Who needs Platelets?
Patients who undergo chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants, open heart surgery or trauma patients depend on platelets to prevent severe bleeding throughout the course of their treatments.
How are Platelets collected?
Platelets in a process called Apheresis. Whole blood is passed through sterile tubing into a cell separator where the platelets are collected and the rest of the blood is returned to the donor.
How can I become a platelet donor?
First, go and donate whole blood. Tell a staff member that you are interested in Platelet donation and they will make sure you get the information you need to find out if you can donate platelets. We especially need male donors who are A+, B+, AB+ and AB- blood types.
In Oregon, the American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disaster every eight hours; teaches thousands of Oregonians lifesaving skills; provides transportation to seniors and the disabled; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization - not a government agency - and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.oregonredcross.org or join the conversation on our award-winning blog at www.oregonredcross.org/blog.
Serving local hospitals, patients, and community needs in Oregon and SW Washington since the 1940's.