Life With Ferris: Give Blood

  • Monday, February 26, 2024
  • Ferris Robinson
The Blood Assurance crew in the bloodmobile at Rock City
The Blood Assurance crew in the bloodmobile at Rock City

This column is actually a month late because January was National Blood Donor Month. About 10 percent of the human body is composed of blood, that red liquid that circulates in the arteries and veins of humans and other vertebrate animals, carrying oxygen to and carbon dioxide from the tissues of the body. We all know we need it, just like we need our lungs and our hearts and our kidneys and our livers and our skin and every other part. But unlike these other vital organs, it’s super easy to share our blood. Like, we can do it without anesthesia and without surgery and, unlike donating our heart, without dying.

I didn’t donate in January because I was behind on everything after the holidays and my pipes froze during the cold snap and my to-do list was super long and donating blood wasn’t on it.

I’m not alone on this. January is historically the most difficult month of the year for blood banks across the nation due to lower collections. Meanwhile, my blood is my best feature. I’m O positive, the most common type. Although my O+ red blood cells are not universally compatible to all types, they are compatible to any red blood cells that are positive, A+, B+, O+ and AB+.

And the supply of O+ at Blood Assurance is often at critical levels often because I get email alerts about it. Which makes sense. Type O blood is the most requested blood type from hospitals. A nonprofit, full-service regional blood center, Blood Assurance serves more than 76 health care facilities across the Southeast. That is a lot of blood!

Rock City regularly sponsors blood drives and the Blood Mobile parks in the lot and makes it convenient for me to leave work during lunch, share my popular feature and be done in under an hour.

Adorned with a hot pink bow tie bandage on the injection site, I proudly showed by large veins (apparently my second-best feature) to my 3-year-old granddaughter after I gave blood last week.

“Fifi! Why would you let them do that?” she asked.

I tried to explain to her that every two seconds someone in the U.S needs blood.

“But why?” she asked.

In the time it took for me to explain that almost 30,000 units of red blood cells are needed in our country every single day and that the blood I shared is easily replenished in my body, 300 people required blood. I hated bringing up instances of folks needed blood because I never, ever want her to be in that position. But the truth is that a single car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood, and blood and platelets cannot be manufactured; they can only come from volunteer donors.

One single donation can help save one life. That’s a good reason to put donating blood on my to-do list every other month.

Learn more at bloodassurance.org.

* * *

Ferris Robinson is the author of three children’s books, “The Queen Who Banished Bugs,” “The Queen Who Accidentally Banished Birds,” and “Call Me Arthropod” in her pollinator series “If Bugs Are Banished.” “Making Arrangements” is her first novel. “Dogs and Love - Stories of Fidelity” is a collection of true tales about man’s best friend. Her website is ferrisrobinson.com and you can download a free pollinator poster there. She is the editor of The Lookout Mountain Mirror and The Signal Mountain Mirror.


Ferris Robinson
Ferris Robinson
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