I heard that 16-year-olds can now donate blood. Is that true?
Yes. Beginning September 1, 2007 Community Blood Center (CBC) will be accepting donations from 16-year-olds weighing at least 110 pounds (with parental consent), and are in general good health. If your child is 16-years-old and has expressed interest in donating blood, but was not old enough, now could be their opportunity. By becoming a blood donor your child is showing great civic responsibility, maturity and a sense of community pride. Through their blood donation, your child has the potential to save up to three lives!
Why does the blood center require parental consent forms required for 16- year-olds but not 17-year -olds?
According to the states of Ohio and Indiana Revised Code parental consent forms are required for 16-year-olds, but the code has not required them for 17-year-olds in Ohio or Indiana for several years. Some schools require parental consent forms for 17-year-old donors, but CBC is not required by law to collect parental consent forms from 17-year -olds.
All 16-year-olds are REQUIRED to have a parental consent form at any donation site including high school blood drives, community/church mobiles, or any one of our five branches. For 16-year-olds donating at high school blood drives, they are encouraged to have their parental consent form signed and returned to the blood drive chairperson when scheduling appointments to donate.
Where can I obtain a parental consent form?
Parental consent forms for 16-year-olds are available in Donor Services, or can be downloaded from our website. High school blood drives will receive copies of consent forms from a CBC Blood Representative. Consent forms for 16-year-olds are also available in all our branches and mobiles.
Why is Community Blood Center now accepting donations from 16-year-olds?
CBC has received interest from 16-year-olds to participate in the blood donation process. Many students have expressed a desire to help save lives and feel empowered through the process of blood donation. As the demand for blood keeps growing more blood centers are having difficulty maintaining the blood supply. Lowering the donation age to 16 is part of a growing national trend that is being adopted by many other states to help combat blood shortages.
Do other states allow 16-year-olds to donate blood?
Fourteen other states and twenty-four blood centers to date have permitted blood donations from 16-year-old donors, some for many years. Washington, for example, has offered 16-year-olds the opportunity to donate for more than 30 years.
Why should I give blood?
Medical technology has provided many life-saving discoveries over the years, but there is still no substitute for blood. In a medical emergency, often the most important element is the availability of blood. Blood donations can help a variety of individuals: trauma victims, surgery patients, premature babies, and individuals with anemia, cancer patients and many more.
What benefits are available for individuals who donate blood?
In addition to helping save up to three lives, blood donors receive many benefits, for example; all donors receive a mini-physical exam at the time of their donation. This includes the determination of hemoglobin levels (as a sign of anemia), blood pressure, temperature and various blood screening tests. After each donation, first time donors will be informed of their blood type and receive a donor identification card.
Can you explain the blood donation process?
Donating blood takes less than one hour from the time you arrive until you are ready to leave. First you complete a registration form with basic information such as your name, address and birthdate. To donate you must provide a picture ID with your full name. Then, one of our medical professionals will check your blood pressure, temperature and hemoglobin level (iron); take a look at your arm to make sure it is clear of any signs of infection; and ask confidential questions about your health and risk behavior to ensure that you are eligible to donate blood that day. Some blood drive locations will include an automated self-administrated process to learn more about a donor’s health history. The actual whole blood donation takes between 10 and 20 minutes. Afterwards, you will be given juice and light snacks to replenish fluids lost during donation.
Are there any special instructions I should follow before donating whole blood?
Donors should routinely eat good meals that include iron-rich foods – like red meat; green, leafy vegetables; and iron-fortified cereals. Donors should also drink plenty of fluids one to two hours before donating blood and after.
What form of identification (ID) is needed to donate?
Donors need to provide a picture ID with their full name.
How long will it take to replenish the unit of blood I donate?
Your body will replace the blood volume (plasma) within 48 hours. It will take four to eight weeks for your body to completely replace the red blood cells you donated. The average adult has 8 to 12 pints of blood.
What happens to my blood after I donate?
Testing is done on each donation to detect various infectious agents that can be transmitted by transfusion, including HIV and hepatitis. If there are any abnormal laboratory results, the results will be shared with donors in addition to parents of 16-year-old donors. Otherwise all health history information will be strictly confidential as required by law. Donors should NOT donate blood to get test results. Individuals interested in getting tested for various diseases such as HIV, need to contact their local health department to locate testing locations. At the blood center, the unit of donated blood will be processed into components (red blood cells, platelets, plasma). After processing, red blood cells can be stored for 42 days, platelets can be stored for five days and plasma can be frozen for one year. Your single unit of blood can help save the lives of up to three separate patients.
How often can I give whole blood?
You can donate whole blood every 56 days or eight weeks, up to 6 times per year.
Copyright 2005 Community Blood Center