New York Blood Center Says Region Has ‘Critical’ Blood Shortage
The center says donors are urgently needed.
In July 2019, the American Red Cross reported an emergency need: Blood donations were going out to hospitals faster than they were coming into donation centers.
While blood donation centers are no longer in a state of emergency, there is still a critical need. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood, yet only 10% of the eligible population — which is less than 38% of Americans — donates.
The basic eligibility guidelines state that you must be at least 16 years old with parental consent in some states or 17 years old without consent in most states, weigh at least 110 pounds and not have donated in the past 56 days.
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Here is what the American Red Cross said when we asked about cannabis use and donating blood: Yes, you can donate if you’ve smoked marijuana. However, you cannot donatea synthetic form of the drug.
Synthetic marijuana — also known as K2 or Spice — is a human-made chemical with a similar make-up to the marijuana plant. It is classified under the group called new psychoactive substances (NPS) and is considered to be an unregulated, mind-altering substance.
There is an FDA-approved medication called Marinol that has man-made THC in it. If you are taking Marinol for a medical condition, such as nausea from chemotherapy or loss of appetite from HIV infection, you would not be eligible for blood donation. If you have taken Marinol and do not have a pre-existing medical condition, you would not be deferred, as it is FDA-approved.
Can You Be Allergic to Marijuana?
Cannabis is yet another "weed" that can contribute to allergies and asthma.Though cannabis can be consumed in many ways, smoking it is still the most common method. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, smoke from cigarettes can cause and trigger respiratory problems such as asthma and COPD. Also, secondhand smoke can cause problems in people exposed to it, especially children with asthma.
So, if you have smoked or ingested non-synthetic marijuana, are otherwise in good health and meet the, you can donate.
There is one final stipulation to note. While it is OK to have medical or recreational cannabis in your system, if you are under the influence of the drug at the time of donation, you will be deferred. That rule goes for licit and illicit drugs and alcohol.
Want to make sure you get a safe form of marijuana when purchasing it?.
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10 Reasons to Donate Blood: What Doctors Need You to Know .
Doctors will tell you that donating blood is vital: That pint you give can save three lives. And that's just one of the good reasons to give. About 4.5 million Americans need a blood transfusion annually, and that requires you (and me, and your neighbor, and your sister, and your dad) to donate blood, if you can. (Read on to see the groups of people who should not donate blood.) The process can make some people nervous, but blood donation is safe, available to most healthy adults, takes just about an hour, and you can return to work afterward.