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WHAT ARE PLATELETS AND WHAT DO THEY DO?

WHAT ARE PLATELETS AND WHAT DO THEY DO?

Platelets make up only 1% of your blood but perform a big job for your body! When a blood vessel is damaged, platelets rush to bind it and stop further bleeding while activating plasma to help heal the wound. Every day, platelets ensure cuts and bruises are not life-threatening. However, platelet transfusions are needed for many vulnerable patients in Central Texas. WHO NEEDS PLATELET DONATIONS? Patients with traumatic injuries need platelets to help stop massive blood loss. Often these traumas require large numbers of platelets and those needs cannot be anticipated or planned for in advance. Patients undergoing cancer treatment often need platelets. During chemo and radiation therapy, platelets take a huge hit, putting patients in real danger. There are also certain cancers, like Leukemia, that lower platelet counts as part of the damage done to the patient’s body. At least half of the platelets donated at We Are Blood will go to oncology patients. Patients undergoing heart surgery or organ transplants will need platelets during their surgery. While some transfusions can be expected, when it comes to these challenging surgeries, we can never be sure how many platelets will be needed. Patients with significant burns need platelets to begin the healing process. Many burn victims cannot produce enough platelets on their own to heal and protect them from bacterial infections. WHY ARE PLATELET DONATIONS NEEDED SO BADLY? While red blood cells can be stored and used within 42 days, platelets only have a shelf life of 7 days. This makes managing the platelet supply for all of Central Texas a critical daily task. As the population of Central Texas has increased, so has the need for platelets; unfortunately, we have not seen the same growth in our platelet donor population to match the demand. HOW ARE PLATELET DONATIONS DIFFERENT FROM REGULAR BLOOD DONATIONS? Platelets make up a tiny portion of a single whole blood donation, so a special donation process is used to efficiently collect more platelets while returning your other blood components back to you. This collection process takes between 70 minutes and 2 hours to complete, but can provide platelets for multiple patients! WHO CAN DONATE PLATELETS? Many eligibility criteria for whole blood donation are the same for platelet donation. Eligible donors are in good health, at least 17 years old, and weigh at least 110 pounds to donate platelets. Occasionally donors may not have appropriate veins or platelet levels, but we’ll let you know if this is the case before donating. Take a look at our FAQ page for other eligibility questions or email us at whocandonate@weareblood.org. You also must be aspirin free for 48 hours prior to donating. WHAT IS THE PLATELET DONATION PROCESS LIKE? When you arrive to donate platelets, you’ll go through the same mini-physical you would if donating whole blood – we’ll check your iron levels, blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. We’ll also assess your veins to make sure you’ll have a comfortable donation. Once you’re set up and the donation has begun, we’ll test a sample of your blood to check your platelet levels to determine how many units you can donate. After that, you can watch a movie, read a book, catch up on your favorite tv show, or visit with our phlebotomists and other donors. We also have cookies and drinks available to you throughout your donation. HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR A PLATELET DONATION? Try to drink lots of fluids 1-2 days prior to your donation; this will help with your veins and your blood flow. Eating iron-rich foods can help with your iron levels, foods high in vitamin C can help with iron absorption, and calcium-rich foods can help with the effects of the anticoagulant additive. Try to stay away from caffeine for 1-2 days prior to your donation as it can cause dehydration. And remember, once you’re in the chair you can’t leave the chair, so cut back your fluids a few hours before your donation, and make sure you use the restroom immediately before you start the donation. Donors must be aspirin-free for 48 hours to donate platelets. This is because aspirin reduces the potency and performance of your platelets. The more time between taking aspirin and donating platelets, the better for the recipient. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DONATING PLATELETS? Because your body quickly replenishes your platelets after you donate, you can donate more often than you can donate whole blood – every 7 days, up to 24 times a year. Not only does this allow you to help so many more local patients, but you will earn points quickly to spend in our donor store. In addition to the special promotions exclusive to our platelet community, many dedicated platelet donors attain high gallon levels and earn unique, personalized gifts. Finally, many of our donors use their donation time as an opportunity for a little “me time”, meaning you can give back to the community and yourself at the same time. WHERE CAN I DONATE PLATELETS? Platelet donations are accepted at all three of our donor centers. ARE CERTAIN BLOOD TYPES BETTER SUITED FOR PLATELET DONATIONS? While all blood type platelets are needed, we especially ask types A, B+, and AB type donors to consider becoming platelet donors. Contact our platelet program manager if you have any questions about your blood type and if you would make a great platelet donor. OTHER TIPS TO MAKE YOUR PLATELET DONATION A SMOOTH ONE:

The Benefits of Donating Blood 2024

The Benefits of Donating Blood 2024

Donating Blood : There’s no end to the benefits of donating blood for those who need it. According to the American Red Cross, one donation can save as many as three lives, and someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds. It turns out that donating blood doesn’t just benefit recipients. There are health benefits for donors, too, on top of the benefits that come from helping others. Read on to learn the health benefits of donating blood and the reasons behind them. Benefits Donating blood has benefits for your emotional and physical health. According to a report by the Mental Health Foundation, helping others can: Research has found further evidence of the health benefits that come specifically from donating blood. Free health checkup In order to give blood, you’re required to undergo a health screening. A trained staff member performs this checkup. They’ll check your: This free mini-physical can offer excellent insight into your health. It can effectively detect problems that could indicate an underlying medical condition or risk factors for certain diseases. Your blood is also tested for several diseases. These include: Does donating blood lower your risk of heart disease? The research is mixed on whether blood donation actually lowers risk of heart disease and heart attack. A 2017 studyTrusted Source suggests that regular blood donations are associated with increased risk of heart disease possibly due to unfavorable cholesterol levels However, donating blood regularly may lower iron stores, according to a 2013 studyTrusted Source. This may reduce the risk of heart attack. High body iron stores are believed to increase the risk of heart attack. Regular blood donations were thought to lower blood pressureTrusted Source, but a 2017 studyTrusted Source suggests these observations are deceiving and are not a real physiological response. Side effects of donating blood Blood donation is safe for healthy adults. There’s no risk of contracting disease. New, sterile equipment is used for each donor. Some people may feel nauseous, lightheaded, or dizzy after donating blood. If this happens, it should only last a few minutes. You can lie down with your feet up at the until you feel better. You may also experience some bleeding at the site of the needle. Applying pressure and raising your arm for a couple of minutes will usually stop this. You may develop a bruise at the site. Call the blood donation center if: During the donation You must register to donate blood. This includes providing identification, your medical history, and undergoing a quick physical examination. You’ll also be given some information about blood donation to read. Once you’re ready, your blood donation procedure will begin. Whole blood donation is the most common type of donation. This is because it offers the most flexibility. It can be transfused as whole blood or separated into red cells, platelets, and plasma for different recipients. For a whole blood donation procedure: Other types of donation include: These types of donations are performed using a process called apheresis. An apheresis machine is connected to both of your arms. It collects a small amount of blood and separates the components before returning the unused components back to you. This cycle is repeated several times over approximately two hours. Once your donation is complete, you’ll be given a snack and a drink and be able to sit and rest for 10 or 15 minutes before you leave. If you feel faint or nauseous, you’ll be able to lie down until you feel better. What to know before you donate Here are some important things to know before you donate: The following are some suggestions to help you prepare for donating blood: Let the staff know if you have a preferred arm or vein and if you prefer to sit up or lie down. Listening to music, reading, or talking with someone else can help you relax during the donation process. The cons of blood donation There’s no doubt that donating blood can do a lot of good: Donating just one pint of blood can save more than one person’s life, according to the American Red Cross. About 36,000 pints of blood are needed every day in the United States, and 6.8 million people donate a year. But blood donation isn’t without its disadvantages. Each donor is given a mini physical examination, but there are still some minor side effects that could occur. These include: Donating blood is a safe process, but there are some things you should know before you donate. Here’s a closer look at the disadvantages to consider before donating blood. Bruising When you donate blood, you sit or lie on a reclining chair with your arm extended on an armrest. A healthcare provider will place a blood pressure cuff or tourniquet around your upper arm to fill your veins with more blood. After cleaning the skin on the inside of one of your elbows, the provider will insert a sterile needle attached to a thin plastic tube and blood bag into one of your veins. The needle is kept in your arm for about 10 minutes, or for the duration of your blood donation. When a needle pricks a vein, there’s always a chance that some bruising will occur around the site where the needle was inserted. For that reason, bruising is common among blood donors. Bruises range in color from yellow to blue to purple. Mild to moderate bruising is usually not something to worry about. If you experience bruising, apply a cold pack to the bruised area every few hours for several minutes during the first 24 hours after you donate blood. Continued bleeding When a blood donation is complete, a healthcare provider will remove the needle from your vein and place a bandage on the needle site. They will wrap your arm with a dressing. The bandage and pressure of the dressing is meant to stop the blood flow out of your vein. Your nurse will instruct you to keep your bandage and dressing in place for at least four to five … Read more

What Does Donating Plasma Do To You?

What Does Donating Plasma Do To You?

Donating plasma is an important, voluntary act that can help save lives. Like donated blood, your plasma is used in trauma situations in hospitals to help those in need. Plasma helps to stop bleeding during emergency situations.  If you’re thinking about donating plasma, here’s what you need to know. Is Donating Plasma Safe? Donating plasma is similar to donating blood. As long as you donate in a certified center, donating plasma is completely safe. If you’re considering donating plasma, the first thing you should do is look for a center that is certified by the International Quality Plasma Program (IQPP). These centers are sterile and staffed by highly-trained professionals. All of the equipment that’s used in the plasma collection process is sterilized and cleaned after use. Any equipment that comes into contact with you as a donor is only used one time to ensure cleanliness and prevent the possibility of transmitting any kind of bloodborne pathogens. Does donating plasma hurt? Donating plasma shouldn’t hurt. Donating plasma should feel the same as a regular blood donation. You might feel a stinging sensation when the needle is inserted, but after that, the staff will do its best to make sure that you’re comfortable throughout the donation process. Am I Qualified to Donate Plasma? There are different requirements for the various types of blood donations. These requirements are put in place to guarantee your safety and health. In order to donate plasma, you must: Side Effects of Donating Plasma Donating does a lot of good. Blood plasma is needed for many modern medical therapies. These include treatments for immune system conditions, bleeding, and respiratory disorders, as well as blood transfusions and wound healing. Plasma donation is necessary to collect enough plasma for medical treatments. Donating plasma is mostly a safe process, but side effects do exist. Plasma is a component of your blood. To donate plasma, blood is drawn from your body and processed through a machine that separates and collects the plasma. The other components of the blood, such as the red blood cells, are returned to your body and mixed with saline to replace the withdrawn plasma. Dehydration Plasma contains a lot of water. For that reason, some people experience dehydration after donating plasma. Dehydration after donating plasma is usually not severe. Dizziness, fainting, and lightheadedness Plasma is rich in nutrients and salts. These are important in keeping the body alert and functioning properly. Losing some of these substances through plasma donation can lead to an electrolyte imbalance. This can result in dizziness, fainting, and lightheadedness. Fatigue Fatigue can occur if the body has low levels of nutrients and salts. Fatigue after plasma donation is another common side effect, but it’s usually mild. Bruising and discomfort Bruising and discomfort are among the milder and more common side effects of plasma donation. When the needle pierces the skin, you may experience a pinching feeling. You may also experience a dull, pulling sensation at the needle site as blood is drawn from your vein, into the tubing, and then into the machine collecting your plasma. Bruises form when blood flows into soft tissues. This can happen when a needle punctures a vein and a small amount of blood leaks out. For most people, bruises go away in days or weeks. But if you have a bleeding disorder, it may take more time. Infection Any time a needle is used to pierce the skin, there is always a small risk of infection. Punctured skin tissue allows bacteria from outside the body to get in. The needle may carry bacteria not only beneath the skin’s surface, but into a vein. This can lead to an infection at the injection site and surrounding body tissue or in the blood. Signs of an infection include skin that feels warm and tender and looks red and swollen, with pain at and around the injection site. If you notice signs of infection, it’s important to see a doctor right away to prevent complications. Citrate reaction A citrate reaction is a very serious but very rare side effect of plasma donation. During a plasma donation, the technician will infuse a substance known as an anticoagulant into the blood collected in the plasma-separating machine before the blood is returned to your body. This anticoagulant is meant to prevent blood clots from forming. The plasma in the machine retains most of the citrate, but some will also enter your bloodstream. In the body, citrate binds together a small amount of calcium molecules for a short amount of time. Because this effect is small and temporary, most people experience no side effects from citrate. However, a small number of people who donate plasma experience what’s called a “citrate reaction” from the temporary loss of calcium. Signs of a citrate reaction include: If these symptoms are left untreated, they may become more severe. Severe symptoms include: Arterial puncture An arterial puncture is a very rare side effect that can occur any time a needle is used to tap into a vein. During a plasma donation, a technician starts by inserting a needle into a vein in your arm. An arterial puncture can happen when the technician accidentally misses your vein and instead hits an artery. Because arteries have higher blood pressure than veins, a puncture can lead to bleeding into the arm tissues around the puncture site. The signs of an arterial puncture include a faster blood flow and lighter-than-usual color of blood running through the tubes to the machine collecting your plasma. The needle and tubes used may appear to move or pulsate with the increased blood flow. You may experience weak pain near your elbow. If the needle accidentally hits an artery, the technician will remove it immediately and hold pressure on the needle insertion site for at least 10 minutes. Continued bleeding from the needle insertion site after holding pressure is rare, but requires emergency medical attention. How Do I Prepare to Donate Plasma? On the day of your plasma donation appointment, make sure that … Read more

Types of Donations That Nonprofits Accept 2024

Types of Donations That Nonprofits Accept 2024

Donations is a voluntary contribution of money, goods, services, or time given by an individual or organization to support a charitable cause, humanitarian effort, or community initiative. The act of donating is rooted in altruism and the desire to make a positive impact on society or to help those in need. Learn about eight different types of charitable donations your nonprofit can start accepting this year: Types of Donations 1. One-Time Donations This is the most common form of donation where the donor gives a specific amount of money to the nonprofit organization. These gifts can come in various formats, including checks and credit card donations submitted through online giving forms. Accepting single donations is a great way to acquire new donors or re-engage lapsed donors. 2. Recurring Donations Recurring donations are gifts made at a regular interval, such as each month. Over the course of the year, these donations effectively add up to one large annual gift. Recurring gifts are convenient for the donor, because they allow them to give regularly without needing to remember to do so or take the time to re-enter credit card information. They’re also a powerful way to help nonprofits build a strong relationship with donors over time. 3. Legacy Donations Legacy gifts, also known as planned gifts, are an important source of support for nonprofits because they can provide long-term, sustainable funding. That’s because many of these donations provide charities with support for an extended period of time which can last years or even decades. Legacy donations take many forms, including annuities, several kinds of trusts, and bequests made through wills. 4. Tribute or Memorial Donations Tribute donations can be made in honor or memory of a loved one, friend or colleague. These donations help donors express their appreciation or sympathy, while supporting a cause that is important to them. Memorial donations aren’t just means of providing financial support, they can also raise awareness for the charity’s mission or impact. 5. Stock Donations Donations of stock shares can be a key source of income for charities. In turn, donors who give appreciated non-cash assets like stocks to charities can receive significant tax benefits. By donating stock, donors can avoid paying capital gains taxes on the appreciation and typically can receive a tax deduction for the full fair market value of the stock at the time of the donation. 6. Crypto Donations Like stock donations, crypto donations are another form of non-cash asset giving. The community of crypto users, however, is a highly unique donor demographic known for their youth, tech-savviness, relative affluence, and generosity for supporting the causes they believe in.  While crypto philanthropy is still an emerging trend in fundraising, it’s helped thousands of nonprofits make a difference in the world through donations worth hundreds of millions of dollars over the past few years.  7. Physical Property Donations Nonprofits can accept tangible property items like cars, boats and even real estate as charitable donations. In some cases, a charity might even request certain types of property that can enable them to better fulfill their mission. In many cases, though, the donor will simply donate the item and receive a tax benefit in return, while the nonprofit can decide whether to keep or sell it for cash. 8. In-Kind Donations In-kind donations are non-cash gifts that can include time, services and physical goods. In-kind charitable gifts can help nonprofits have access to specific mission-relevant resources or even giveaway items for fundraising galas and raffles. Some forms of volunteering can be considered in-kind donations, too, if they offer a specialized skill.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHARITY AND DONATION 2024?

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHARITY AND DONATION?

It feels amazing to be able to help someone! Whenever we think of helping others, donation and charity come into picture. In the present use of words, these two terms are like the two ‘best friends’ who can interchange or replace each other’s role in a phrase easily. However, there are some other reasonable differences that we will learn in this article!  Charity: A Holistic Approach to Giving The term “charity” encompasses a broad spectrum of benevolent activities aimed at promoting the well-being of individuals, communities, or causes. It involves the selfless giving of resources, time, or services to address social issues and improve the quality of life for the less fortunate. Charitable endeavors can take various forms, including establishing and supporting social programs, advocating for policy changes, and actively engaging in community development initiatives. Charity goes beyond the act of simply providing financial support. It involves a comprehensive understanding of the root causes of issues and a commitment to creating sustainable solutions. Those involved in charitable work often invest time and effort to address systemic problems, striving to bring about lasting positive change. Donation: A Specific Act of Giving A donation, on the other hand, refers to the act of giving something, usually money, goods, or services, to a person or organization in need. While charity embodies a broader concept of altruism and social responsibility, a donation is a specific instance of providing tangible support. Donations can be directed towards various causes, including healthcare, education, poverty alleviation, and disaster relief. Donations play a pivotal role in sustaining charitable organizations and facilitating their operations. Individuals, corporations, and foundations contribute funds or resources to support initiatives aligned with their values and priorities. Whether it’s a one-time contribution or a recurring commitment, donations serve as a vital lifeline for organizations working tirelessly to make a positive impact on society. TYPES OF DONATIONS Donating is a fundamental aspect of human altruism and community support. Whether motivated by empathy, religious beliefs, or a desire for social change, donations play a crucial role in addressing societal challenges and fostering positive change. Here, we delve into the various types of donations, examining their impact and significance in different contexts. 1. Monetary Donations Monetary donations involve giving money to charitable organizations, non-profits, or individuals in need. These funds can be used for immediate relief efforts, long-term development projects, or specific causes such as education, healthcare, or disaster relief. The flexibility of monetary donations allows organizations to allocate resources where they are most needed efficiently. Impact: Enables organizations to scale their operations, provide direct assistance, and sustain ongoing projects. It also empowers donors to support causes that align with their values without geographical constraints. 2. In-Kind Donations In-kind donations consist of goods, services, or expertise provided to organizations or individuals. Examples include food, clothing, medical supplies, equipment, and professional services like legal or medical assistance. Unlike monetary donations, in-kind donations offer tangible goods or services directly benefiting recipients. Impact: Provides essential resources that may not be readily available through monetary means. In-kind donations can support immediate needs during emergencies, supplement operational budgets, and enhance the capacity of organizations to deliver services. 3. Volunteer Time Volunteering involves donating time, skills, and expertise to support charitable causes or community initiatives. Volunteers contribute to various activities such as tutoring, mentoring, event organization, administrative tasks, and hands-on support in disaster response or environmental conservation efforts. Impact: Enhances organizational capacity by leveraging diverse skills and experiences. Volunteers often bring innovation, enthusiasm, and a personal connection to the causes they support, fostering community engagement and long-term sustainability. 4. Legacy Donations Legacy donations, also known as planned giving, involve leaving assets or financial provisions in wills or estate plans to support charitable causes after the donor’s lifetime. These donations can include cash, property, stocks, or life insurance policies designated for charitable purposes. Impact: Establishes a lasting impact beyond the donor’s lifetime, supporting ongoing programs, endowments, or capital projects. Legacy donations enable individuals to leave a meaningful legacy aligned with their values and philanthropic goals. 5. Crowdfunding Crowdfunding leverages online platforms to raise funds from a large number of individuals for specific projects, personal causes, or community initiatives. It harnesses the collective power of social networks and digital connectivity to reach a broader audience and garner support through small contributions. Impact: Facilitates grassroots fundraising efforts, empowers individuals to directly support causes they care about, and promotes transparency through real-time progress updates. Crowdfunding platforms democratize philanthropy, enabling anyone with internet access to make a tangible difference. 6. Corporate Donations Corporate donations involve contributions made by businesses, corporations, or foundations to charitable organizations or community projects. These donations can take the form of financial support, in-kind contributions, employee volunteer programs, or matching gift programs that amplify employee contributions. Impact: Enhances corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, strengthens community relationships, and fosters employee engagement. Corporate donations also support strategic partnerships that address societal challenges and promote sustainable development goals. 7. Advocacy and Awareness Advocacy donations involve supporting organizations or campaigns dedicated to raising awareness, influencing public policy, or advocating for social justice issues. These donations contribute to systemic change by addressing root causes, promoting civic engagement, and amplifying marginalized voices. Impact: Drives public discourse, mobilizes collective action, and promotes policy reforms that address societal inequalities. Advocacy donations empower individuals to be catalysts for change and contribute to shaping a more equitable and inclusive society. Contextual differences Aspect Charity Donation Definition Providing assistance, support, or relief to those in need through organized efforts or institutions. Giving something, typically money or goods, to support a cause or individual. Scope Involves broader humanitarian actions, addressing systemic issues, promoting social justice, and supporting community development. Focuses on providing resources (financial or material) to address specific needs or support specific projects. Examples Establishing and operating non-profit organizations, running programs for disadvantaged groups, advocating for policy changes, conducting outreach activities. Giving money to a charitable organization, donating clothing to a local shelter, contributing food to a food bank, offering supplies to disaster relief efforts. Focus Systemic actions and organizational … Read more