I will preface this post, as I am a hypocrite sort of. A long time ago I gave blood, it was a less than pleasant experience. However I did it. I felt proud about doing something to help others. The only problem, after that experience I stopped giving blood. Mainly because I thought about how horrible I felt after the fact (physically). I have always promoted and encouraged people to donate blood.
Now I am an a situation in my life where I depend on those that donate blood and blood products. I get my insurance statement each time I get an infusion. Each infusion costs approximately $6,700 of that about $6,300 is for the actual blood product I receive. Granted the hope is in the future costs will come down as processes improve, but part of the cost has to do with supply.
I am fortunate that my insurance covers these costs (for now). They may not in the future and for many other patients, they can’t get coverage or just don’t have insurance.
I am a prime example of an excuse maker, “I don’t like the way I feel afterwards” or “next time.” The fact of the matter is donating blood and blood products (plasma) is not just about helping people that are in accidents or surgeries, but helping people with all sorts of needs.
For instance I receive infusions of IgG. The product I received comes from hundreds or thousands of donors. People exposed and immune to various colds and other illnesses. This is used to build up my deficient immune system. There are many many many people who are in much worse of a situation than I am and need these same types of infusions.
Stop into a cancer center any day of the week and you’ll see cancer patients who immune systems are shot from their cancer treatments. They receive these same types of infusions. There are children born with the same deficiency I have who need this as well.
While you can’t direct where your donation goes in this case, because of what is needed, just giving blood and blood products helps keep a balance. It’s not really asking that much.
Now before everyone jumps down my throat, sure, this sounds typical. The guy who wouldn’t help is now asking for it. That is a fair statement. I am not the only one though. It is human nature to avoid things we either don’t understand or don’t enjoy. Sometimes one has to overlook the small negative impact something like donating blood has on their body because of the benefit it creates for many others. Kind of like the theory of Utility.
Obviously it will always be an individual decision, and some people can’t give blood for various reasons. Some just don’t want to. That is just a fact of life. All I ask is if you are capable of giving blood, and you just keep putting it off, don’t. Most office buildings, malls and hospitals do blood drives throughout the year. It doesn’t take much time and it does make a big impact on many different lives. Don’t be like me, making excuses then finding that you are in need and being the person asking others to donate. It is an awkward feeling and doesn’t seem fair.
Here are some links on donating blood and other products (plasma):