Why would anyone want to donate blood? I know that giving blood saves lives. But here’s a twist for pet owners. In some a few rare places, there are actually “Pet Blood Donors’ banks. In England, enough blood was collected to save the lives of up to 32 dogs at a Pet Blood Bank UK (PBBuk) collection session at the University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science on Wednesday (May 20, 2009).
The present one day supply, worldwide, is one disaster from being spent. Global and U.S. donations have plumeted. Besides there being a world-wide shortage of blood, even areas within the borders of the U.S. can run out blood in one short event. Blood is needed for obvious reasons, transfusions, emergency blood supplies, life for a young baby or infant, a young child…your grandma, or heaven forbid, you. That would be the worst thing possible. But there are several important benefits especially for donors that are tangible and real. It’s like our bodies are paying us back for being so generous to give blood for the life of others.
Lowers your blood pressure,
raises their good cholesterol levels (HDL),
while lowering the bad (LDL),
reduces dangerous platelets or clots,
purifies the blood,
stimulates the production of red (iron rich) blood cells,
lowers the risk for heart attacks,
lowers the risk of heart disease and strokes,
and there is also statistical evidence that it may reduce the occurrence of Dementia and Alzheimer’s for setting in.
Clearly, another great benefit is like getting “blood works” checkups for free!
All blood is tested for diseases, including STDs. If the test is positive, the donor will be notified and their blood discarded. The tests used are high-sensitivity screening tests and no actual diagnosis is made. Some of the test results are later found to be false positives using more specific testing. Individuals are discouraged from using blood donation for the purpose of anonymous STD screening because a false negative could mean the disease would be passed to someone else. Blood may also be tested for additional infectious diseases such as West Nile Virus, when and where these diseases are prevalent. Donated blood is tested by many methods, and a typical screening panel includes most of the tests below:
Antibody to Hepatitis B core “anti-HBc” , Hepatitis B Surface Antigen “HBsAg” , Nucleic acid testing by Transcription Mediated Amplification (TMA) or Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for Hepatitis B “HBV-NAT” , Antibody to Hepatitis C “anti-HCV” , Nucleic acid testing for HCV “HCV-NAT” , Alanine Transaminase “ALT” (this test is used to check for liver problems which may be a sign of hepatitis and has been phased out as tests for hepatitis have improved) , Antibody to HIV types 1 and 2 “Anti-HIV1/2” , Nucleic acid for HIV “HIV-NAT” , Antibody to HIV p24 antigen (this test has been mostly replaced by HIV NAT) , Antibody to Human T-Lymphotrophic Virus I/II “anti-HTLV” , Nucleic acid testing for West Nile Virus “WNV-NAT” , Antibody to Chagas Disease ,Serologic test for syphilis “RPR” or “STS” , Antibody to Cytomegalovirus “anti-CMV”, Atypical red cell antigen screening ,and blood typing.
Most metropolitan areas have a local blood bank. Sometimes a bloodmobile is used to run a blood drive utilizing a modified bus or recreational vehicle. If you’ve ever heard the old hymn, “There’s power in the blood of Jesus”, then let me tell you, that their is life in your blood too. The power to save lives. You can make an appointment with just a short wait, or you can walk in. It surprises most people that there is just enough blood supplies for about one disaster; about one day from being exhausted. That’s why donating can help. A blood shortage is a bad thing for everyone involved. Pease give life…it’s for your own good as well as the good of others . John 15:13 put’s it well saying, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” [NIV].