A NEW YEAR RESOLUTION THAT CAN SAVE LIVESFiled under General
Every year millions of people begin the new year making resolutions that often fall by the wayside several months later. This isn’t because people can’t keep their word. Rather, its simply because “life” takes over and people fall back into their normal routines.
Trust me, I’m the least qualified person to lecture anyone on this topic. Despite starting every year with the best of intentions, around every June I look back and wonder what happened to all those resolutions relating to exercise, personal development and healthier eating habits.
However, I’m here to tell you that this year I’ve made a resolution that I intend to keep! And of course, I wouldn’t be a lawyer if I didn’t try to persuade you to make and keep the same resolution.
This year, and every year afterwards, I intend to donate blood at least twice a year. It may seem like a simple thing, but you may be shocked to learn, as I was, that there is actually a huge shortage of blood available to people facing major medical issues.
The simple act of donating blood can save someone’s life and even benefit your own health. If the pandemic of 2020 taught me anything, it’s that life is precious and fragile. The “coronavirus” literally brought society to a standstill and has had a major impact that will be felt for years to come.
This experience of living through a worldwide pandemic reinforced in my mind the principal that “we’re all in this life together” and we each have a responsibility to give back and help each other. While there are many ways to make meaningful contributions to one’s community, donating blood is one of the simplest and best ways to do so.
BLOOD IS A PRECIOUS COMMODITY IN SHORT SUPPLY
Did you know that in the United States approximately 100 people die every day as a result of a motor vehicle accident? Around 3 million people are required to get medical care each year as the result of a non-fatal motor vehicle accident.
A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood. Given these statistics, it’s easy to understand the importance of hospitals having a steady and reliable supply of blood for transfusions. Historically there has been a shortage of blood available to injured persons in many communities. Add to the mix all the problems brought about by the coronavirus and hospitals are currently suffering from a critical shortage of blood.
Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed in the United States every day to meet the demands of accident victims, people who’ve sustained serious injuries and those facing various diseases. Without an adequate supply of blood available, many of these people could face death. Blood is not something that can be manufactured in a laboratory. It can only come from human donors. Therefore, it’s vital that people donate blood.
Donating blood is a very safe and painless process. A sterile needle is used for each donor and then discarded. The entire process of drawing blood generally takes no more than 30 minutes. A healthy person may donate red blood cells every 56 days. There are eight main types of blood: A+, A-. B+, B-, O+, O-, AB+ and AB-. Donating blood is an easy process. The American Red Cross is one of the leading blood donation centers and has locations throughout the United States.
Donating blood can literally save lives. When asked, most people that donate blood cite the desire to help others as the main motivating factor. One donation can help save the lives of up to three people. When you start to think about it this way, you quickly realize that donating blood is one of the best things you can do to help society and your fellow human beings.
DONATING BLOOD CAN BE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH
While the benefits of donating blood to the health of others is obvious, did you know that it can be good for your health as well? Donating blood can help lower the risk of cancer and help promote the overall well being of organs such as the heart and liver.
Additionally, when you donate blood, you cause your body to create new blood cells which replace the donated ones. The donation process stimulates the creation of new, fresh blood cells which replenishes the body.
Apart from the physical benefits of donating blood, there is also tremendous emotional satisfaction that comes with knowing you’re helping others. There is a Chinese saying that goes like this: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”
This ancient wisdom has been scientifically validated. But we don’t need a scientific study to prove the obvious that when you help someone, you’re engaging in something that connects you to the world and fellow man in a truly meaningful way.