Safeguard For Blood Donors

| September 10, 2012 | 0 Comments

Safety is the top priority of the American Red Cross.  And the Red Cross cares as much about the safety of those who give blood as it does about the safety of the patients who received blood.  Not only does every ounce of blood or blood components the Red Cross provides meet or exceed state and federal safety guidelines, Red Cross donors are also procedures and other guidelines that make blood donation one of the safest of all volunteer activities.

Six steps to donor safety.

1. Pre-Check
Before even beginning the health history interview, every donor’s social security number is checked against our donor deferral registry to ensure that the donor is eligible to give blood on that date.  Your body requires 56 days to replace is volume of iron-carrying red cells; so we want to assure that it’s safe for you to donate again.

2. Mini-Physical
Before you donate, we check your pulse rate, your blood pressure, your temperature, and you hemoglobin level.  If we notice any reading that is out of the ordinary, we will advise you to see your family physician, and we’ll deger you from donating that day.

3. Detailed Healthy History
The many, intensive questions we ask you during the health history interview serve a purposal.  they help assure us that you are feeling well and that nothing in your pass medical history would make giving blood a risk to you or to the patients who receive your blood.

4. Aseptic Scrub
You phlebotmist thoroughly cleanses the site in your arm where a sterile needle will be inserted.  This strict procedure requires your arm to be scrubbed with an antiseptic solution for at least 30 seconds.  To further assure the aseptic cleanliness of the site, out phlebotomist’s eyes may not leave the site between the time the preparation is complete and the needle is inserted.  If an interruption occurs, the site must be thoroughly cleansed again.  Once the needle is placed, the site is further protected with a sterile gauze.

5. Personal Attention
Every donor is closely monitored by staff who have been highly trained, not only to take blood, but to assist you in the event you are one of the small percentage of people who suffer a slight reaction to the donation.  Staff are certified in CPR, and have extensive training in handling reactions.  In addition, a physician is always immediately available by telephone to provide consultation.  And staff at every bloodmobile have the specific numbers for local ambulance and hospital service in the unlikely event that a donor must be transferred to a medical center.

6. Post-Donation Follow-Up
Every donor receives a card listing a tool free 800 number to call if you have any questions about the donation process of if you remember additional health history information you feel we should know.  That number also includes information about how to reach the Red Cross medical director in the event you want to discuss your question with a physician.  After you make your donation, the safety of your blood is double checked in the laboratory where every unit you donate is screened using eight test for nine different infectious disease markers.  And all of that information is entered into permanent, confidential, computerized record.  Since more then three quarters of Red Cross blood donors are repeated donors, a large amount of health information is available to confirm that the body you’ve donated is suitable for transfusion.

Every donor is vitally important to a hospital patient. Hospitals in our community depend on the Red Cross to supply more than 350 units of blood every single day. Your donation is important. American Red Cross Blood Services will take every step necessary to ensure that your donation is safe and enjoyable… so that you’ll want to continue helping those seriously ill neighbors who depend on you.

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