Rocky Mountain Health Plan's Guide To Giving Blood | Rocky Mountain Health Plans Blog



Rocky Mountain Health Plan's Guide to Giving Blood

Donate Blood, Save a Life

Make an appointment to give blood this month as all eligible donors can really make an impact by simply to roll up their sleeves and help save a life. It’s important to know the details around donating blood, including why it’s so important, eligibility guidelines, and how to donate.

Why is donating blood during the wintertime so important?

Winter is one of the toughest times to collect enough blood and platelet donations to meet the needs of patients around the country. Blood drives are often canceled due to foul weather, donation centers can close when a winter storm passes, and seasonal illnesses like the flu and cold mean many people are unable to donate.

If you’re healthy and able to make it to a donation center or blood drive, your gift could quite literally save lives.

Am I eligible to donate blood?

The Red Cross has specific eligibility requirements based on the type of donation. For whole blood donations:

  • You must weigh at least 110 pounds.
  • In most states, you must be at least 17 years old.
  • You must be in good health and feeling well, with no symptoms of the cold, flu, or other illnesses.
  • Certain medications may make you ineligible for donation — visit this link for a comprehensive list.
  • You may be deferred from donating if you have lived in or traveled to a country with a risk of malaria within the past three years. When you come to your appointment, fill out this form and include details of your recent travels.
  • You may donate once every 56 days.

For more information about eligibility requirements, here is detailed information about donating platelets, donating AB positive plasma, and more.

How to donate blood

Donating blood is simple and easy. You can make an appointment to donate blood by:

After you’ve scheduled an appointment, visit the RapidPass website to complete a pre-donation health history questionnaire and to read some helpful informational materials. The process takes 10-15 minutes and saves time on the day of your donation.

You’ll also need to present a blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification at check-in, so don’t forget to bring those along. Expect to spend approximately one hour donating.

This month, donate blood to save a life

The next time you’re able to donate blood, think about the good you will do for others.

  • One donation has the potential to save up to three lives
  • Donating blood is completely safe
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood
  • Many cancer patients need blood daily during the course of chemotherapy
  • The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O
  • Every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood