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O for a Cup of Joe blood donor drive runs thru March 31

Answering questions about donating blood
March 21, 2022

Did you know that when you donate blood, you can help save up to three lives? If you’ve been hesitant to give blood in the past, read through these frequently asked questions and answers provided by the Blood Bank of Delmarva to calm your fears.

Bayhealth patients benefit from blood donations made by community members. That’s why it’s a natural fit that Bayhealth and BBD have partnered on the O for a Cup of Joe series to encourage blood donations and reward those who participate.

When someone donates blood from now until Thursday, March 31, they can sign up under the O for a Cup of Joe campaign to receive a gift card good for a cup of joe and be entered to win a MacBook. To learn more, go to bayhealth.org/o-4-joe.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about blood donations.

Will donating blood hurt?

Other than feeling a slight pinch when the needle is inserted, there should be no pain during the donation.

Do I need to eat or drink anything special before I donate?

You can enjoy regular meals prior to blood donation, and it is recommended to eat salty foods. It is important to stay well hydrated prior to donation, so drinking plenty of fluids is a good idea. It helps to eat around three hours prior to your donation time as well.

Will I lose too much blood?

On average, a healthy body contains 8 to 12 pints of blood. When you donate blood, approximately 1 pint of blood is taken, which means your body will still have a more than adequate supply of blood. Within 24 hours, your body will replace blood volume and plasma, and within four to eight weeks, your red blood cells will be fully replenished.

Do I have to do anything special after I donate?

The entire donation process will last about an hour, with the actual blood donation only taking about 15 minutes. Following donation, you will rest and enjoy refreshments to ensure your body can relax. Once you leave the donation center, avoid any lifting or pushing of heavy objects, and do not engage in strenuous activities for 24 hours.

How often can I donate blood?

You can donate blood every 56 days.

How can my blood help?

In the Delmarva Peninsula alone, nearly 79,000 blood donations are needed each year. Statistics also show that 9 out of 10 individuals will need blood or a blood product at some time in their lives. On average, 1 out of every 10 hospital patients requires a blood transfusion, which averages about 3 pints of blood.

Donating blood shouldn’t be a scary process. In fact, it should be a rewarding one, whereby a person can save lives. 

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