Allergy season having detrimental effects on blood donors
Blood donors may feel faint, tired or ill after they finish with a procedure, so it's understandable that many are unwilling to give blood when they are suffering from allergy symptoms.
This year has been particularly troublesome for some donors. Many media outlets, such as Houston's KPRC, have reported that many regular blood donors have not signed up this year because of how uncomfortable the allergies have made them feel. This allergy season has been historic in its duration and intensity, leaving many individuals extremely reliant on their medications.
In corroborating this information, the American Red Cross announced April 9 that blood donations had fallen about 8 percent from March 2011 to one year later. Considering that the organization is responsible for about 40 percent of the nation's blood supply – which translates to it needing to collect 22,000 units of blood every day – any considerable shortage could prove extremely detrimental to the healthcare community.
"While it's hard to quantify how many, some donors have expressed uncertainty about whether they are suffering from allergies versus a cold," according to the organization. "Someone who is not feeling well on the day of donation due to a cold or allergies will be asked to return when they are feeling better."
The Red Cross and other organizations that accept blood donations do not allow individuals to contribute if they have a respiratory or sinus infection, but generally allergy symptoms are not sufficient to disqualify someone from contributing.
Donating blood is a noble act, but if it puts an individual's health in jeopardy, there is no shame in delaying the procedure until another day. After several days of taking allergy medications – and of course, altering blood donor organizations of these drugs – individuals should be able to give blood in no time.
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