First-time blood donors often have some apprehension about making a donation. One of the most common objections is “I’m afraid of needles.”
That’s how Nichole Skaggs, of Hodgenville, was feeling at Hodgenville Elementary School’s blood drive on Jan. 13.
“This is my first time giving and I’m a little afraid of how many times they may have to stick me,” said Skaggs.
Skaggs’ daughter, a student at HES, asked her to donate so she could get a prize from school. Nichole agreed, on the condition that her husband, Ryan, join her.
Ryan had donated blood when he was in high school and said,
“Giving blood is easy,” said Ryan Skaggs. “You just need to get past that initial fear.”
When the experience was over, in spite of her anxious feelings about needles, Nichole said, “It’s not that bad. I’m glad I’m doing this because I feel like I’m making a difference for someone. I would do it again.”
Blood donors indeed make a lifesaving difference. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. That means more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day. Blood is a perishable resource that can be stored only for a short time and that’s why donating blood is so important.
Here are some tips for a successful donation:
n Maintain a healthy level of iron in your diet by eating iron rich foods, such as red meat, fish, poultry, beans, spinach, iron-fortified cereals and raisins.
n Get a good night’s sleep before you donate.
n Drink an extra 16 ounces of water before and after your donation.
n Eat a healthy meal before your donation. Avoid fatty foods, such as hamburgers, fries or ice cream before donating. Fatty foods can affect the tests they do on your blood. If there is too much fat in your blood, your donation cannot be tested for infectious diseases and the blood will not be used for transfusion.
The Hodgenville Woman’s Club will be sponsoring a blood drive noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 11 at the clubhouse on Lincoln Square.