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Blood Donation at Blood Banks
Despite the public’s ability to donate blood, paid blood donation at blood banks are still rare. There is a constant need for blood donation that is unmet. Statistics show that only 5 percent of potential blood donors donate blood at blood banks. However, the need for blood transfusions increases by 9% each year – a percentage that far exceeds current levels of blood donation.
About Paid Blood Donation Centers
You can be paid to give blood, however, not all blood banks pay blood donors with cash. Often, since many blood donation centers are non-profit, they reward blood donors with items donated by local businesses. The reward for donating blood can come in the form of free movie tickets, gift certificates for local businesses, or food credits that can be used at grocery stores, restaurants and other locations. Blood donation centers are widespread and particularly common in urban areas of the United States.
What is Blood? Why Donate Blood? Paid Benefits of Blood Donation
Blood is the fluid within the body that delivers nutrients and oxygen to the body’s cells while also transporting waste products away from the body’s cells. Blood is vital to life so it is important for hospitals and blood banks to maintain a constant supply for blood transfusions and other treatments made from blood. Therefore, if you are looking to donate blood, paid opportunities are plentiful.
A blood donor must be between the ages of 17 and 76 years old and must weigh at least 110 pounds. Younger people are quite in demand for blood donation as they tend to become lifelong donors, providing a blood donation center with a significant contribution for several years.
If you have engaged in any high-risk behavior as defined by the FDA, including unprotected sex with multiple partners, intravenous drug use, or have had a tattoo, touch-up or piercing within the past 12 months, you will not be acceptable to donate. (For a full list of criteria, read this document).
Before Visiting the Blood Bank
If you are planning on blood donation, it is important to be prepared before going to the blood donation center. Beginning two weeks before blood donation, it is important to eat iron-rich foods, including whole grains, eggs and lean red meats. Avoid fatty foods for 24 hours before donating, and drink plenty of water the night before you donate blood and immediately before you go to the blood bank. Last, make sure you eat a well balanced meal before your blood donation at the blood bank to avoid a reaction during and after your blood donation.
Before You Donate Blood
The blood donor must maintain sufficient iron in their diet, get enough sleep the night before a blood donation, and eat a healthy meal low in fat prior to visiting the blood bank. Official government approved identification is required and it is advisable to wear clothing that allows for the exposure of the area around the blood donor’s elbow to facilitate an easy donation.
The Paid Blood Donation Process
When you get to the paid blood bank, you will be asked to fill out some forms detailing your medical history, sexual habits, and other relevant information. The staff will ask you some screening questions, then measure your weight and do a quick finger prick to obtain a blood sample. Then, you’ll be lead into the screening area where the staff member will check your blood pressure, temperature, and pulse. After a potential blood donor has been qualified for blood donation, the rest of the blood donation process takes approximately 15 minutes. The technician will then apply a tourniquet around your arm in order to locate a good vein and thoroughly clean the venipuncture site. You may feel a slight prick as the needle goes in, but the rest of the blood donation procedure is painless. Your blood flows into a bag that holds around one pint of blood.
The blood will then be checked for infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, Malaria, and HIV/AIDS as well as other diseases.
Once the donation is complete, there is a short recovery process where donors will replenish their bodies with juices and will likely be given cookies or other nourishment. Recovery is aided in the hours after a donation by drinking extra fluids and refraining from strenuous activities such as lifting and pushing heavy objects. It is important to avoid alcohol and caffeine after your blood donation.
If you are at a paid blood donation center, this is when you will receive your compensation. Paid blood donation results in about $20 to $40 dollars per blood donation, although the option to donate blood for free is also acceptable as an act of charity at the American Red Cross.
Benefits of Donating
A 2007 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) JAMA. 2007;297:639-641, postulates that blood donation may lead to fewer heart attacks due to a reduction of iron levels in the blood. Additional benefits of blood donation may include free blood pressure, hemoglobin, and pulse readings during every visit to a blood bank to donate blood.
To locate a blood bank near you to begin blood donation, please use the search function at www.cashfordonating.com.