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Healthcare Journal of baton rouge


SEPT / OCT 2015


donate the blood providers need for their

patients every day. With only about 5 per-

cent of the U.S. population donating blood

each year, that puts blood centers in a tight

supply situation.

One challenge that has been somewhat

lifted for blood centers, however, is the

restrictions once placed upon donors. The

questionnaire for donations is longer nowa-

days, but the regulations for donors are actu-

ally more lax in some areas. This includes

the deferral period for travel to some coun-

tries or for people with tattoos or piercings,

depending on certain factors set by the U.S.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This enables more people to be donors

right away rather than being deferred. More

patients with cardiac disease or diabetes are

able to donate now as well.

Low Time Supply, Low Blood Supply

One of the major constraints for the blood

supply is the amount of time it takes to

donate. The questionnaire necessary for

each person to answer before donating now

contains nearly 50 questions, which is much

more than in the past. These questions pro-

tect the safety of the blood supply as well as

the health of the patient, but they do take

more time to answer.

“Our business culture has changed, and a

lot of businesses are doingmore with less, so

everyone is really busy,” said Mitzi Breaux,

marketing and communications manager

of United Blood Services. “Everyone seems

to be very stressed lately, so taking that time

out of their day to donate blood sometimes

just doesn’t become a priority anymore. We

have seen that shift.”

A typical blood donation can last any-

where from 30 minutes to 45 minutes, or

even upwards to an hour in some cases.

The actual blood donation from needle-in

to needle-out is about 10 to 12 minutes, but

the registration and medical history ques-

tionnaire, in addition to a mini physical to

test a donor’s vitals, comprise the rest of the

time it takes to donate blood.

Some blood centers have devised ways to

shorten the duration of time for each dona-

tion. United Blood Services offers a Donor

Health History Questionnaire online which

donors can fill out at home or in the office

before donating to bypass part of the pro-

cess. Donors do have to complete the ques-

tionnaire the day they donate, as required

by the FDA.

Some centers also host special events

that extend their office hours for accepting

donations to enable more donors to fit in

the donation around their work and home


Despite the time it takes, centers

With only about 5 percent

of the U.S. population

donating blood each year,

that puts blood centers in

a tight supply situation.






Lord Byron waxes

poetic about the cleansing and

weight loss powers of mixing

water with apple cider vinegar.


A high-fiber diet of vegetables

and abstinence from sex are the key

ingredients in a diet plan touted by Sylvester

Graham, the eventual creator of Graham

crackers. Hmmm.


In what may well have been the first

attempt at a low carb diet, Englishman William Banting

loses 50 pounds simply by cutting out bread, butter,

milk, and potatoes and eating more meat. For a while,

“banting” actually becomes slang for dieting.