According to Vergilia Velez, program specialist of Augusta University’s Blood Donation Program, that’s about how long it takes to donate blood.
“The process of donating is very easy,” Velez said. “A picture ID is required, and each donor will go through a mini-examination, including a blood pressure reading, iron count, temperature and pulse check. It takes about 10 to 12 minutes to donate, but we ask that our donors allow about 30 minutes for the whole process.”
Blood is in constant demand at hospitals across the country, but especially so during the holidays. According to the Red Cross, blood donations tend to fall off sharply after Thanksgiving and begin to rise again only after the New Year starts.
With a shelf life of only a few weeks, that supply needs to be replenished constantly.
“There is no substitute for blood,” Velez said. “The community supply depends on the heroes who come in to donate.”
Anyone over the age of 17, in good health and weighing more than 110 pounds can donate. And you can be sure that if you’re giving blood at Georgia Regents Medical Center, that blood is going to save a life in the community.
“All of the blood collected here in the hospital stays here,” Velez said.
In addition to saving lives, donating blood also earns you a credit on your next medical bill.
“Every donation provides a credit to the patient’s medical bill,” Velez said. “It is about a $35 credit to their bill. We ask to receive the patient’s name and date of birth upon donation so we know where to direct that credit.”
Regardless of the reason you choose to do so, we ask that you please donate blood this holiday season. Half an hour of your life could change someone else’s life forever. There’s no better gift than that.
The question is: Will you give it?
Where: Blood Donor Services, first floor of Georgia Regents Medical Center
When: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Appointment: You do not need to make an appointment to donate blood, but giving advanced notice by setting up an appointment can help expedite the process.
Contact Blood Donor Services at 706-721-3695 for more information.