Blood donations

By: Brianna Bolden

Letter of Intent

Brianna Bolden

8130 NC Highway 87

Reidsville, NC 27320


Advisory Board

Rockingham County High School

180 Highschool Rd.

Reidsville, NC 27320

Dear Advisory Board:

I have always been very interested in the healthcare profession, mainly because so many of my family members have been a part of the healthcare system. Here within the last few years, since I have been thinking about what I want to pursue as a career after I graduate, I have been working very diligently to understand the basics of the healthcare profession, as well as the importance for each career. After completing the Health Science classes as well as Nursing Fundamentals, I understand that blood is one of the most important things in your body. Although, not everyone is quite as blessed as we are and may need help from someone else to have an adequate amount of blood in their body. With that being said, I have chosen to focus on researching the benefits of donating blood.

I will focus mainly on why donating blood is so important. Many people believe strongly that giving blood is bad for themselves because they’re losing blood, but I will clearly state the reasons as to why it isn’t bad for your body to donate blood.

My project will be about letting other people know the importance as well as the benefits of giving blood. As far as my product goes, I will set up a local blood drive here at the school, and I will get all students as well as the adults that want to donate blood signed up for the blood drive. I feel very confident about the blood drive, because I know will positively benefit many people not only in our community, but also worldwide. The type of person that I want for my expert, is someone who is very involved with the Red Cross, and is very well educated on the importance of blood donations.

I completely understand that plagarising your paper is not and will not ever be the easy way out. Researching a topic that interests you will be easier, so you will not feel the need to copy and paste information into your paper, because you’re going to be interested in learning new information. I am very aware of the consequences that a student will face if they copy information and paste in directly into their paper. Being an ethical person is important because it will keep you out of trouble in the long run.


Brianna Bolden

parent signature:

Outline/paper/works cited

Brianna Bolden

English IV

Ms. Williams

2 May 2016


Thesis statement: Blood is a necessity for keeping any human alive, without it we would all die. One of the main problems in this world, is the lack of blood being donated. There is such a huge demand for more blood donations, because people who need it are very limited to what they can get due to the short supply of blood that we have at this time.

  1. Why do people feel like donating blood is bad for them?

  1. Religious beliefs

  2. Afraid of transmitting diseases

  3. Bad for their health to lose blood

  4. Iron deficiency

II. Why is there a shortage of blood donations?

  1. Rare blood

  2. Do not have time

  3. Height and weight

  4. Already given this year

  5. Afraid of needles

III. The reason for the demand

  1. Increased therapies

  2. Units needed

IV. Facts about blood needs

  1. Plasma/ Platelets

  2. Transfusions

  3. Most common blood type

  4. Cancer patients

  5. Car accidents

V. How does donating blood benefit the donor?

  1. Helps blood flow easier

  2. Helps donor live longer

  3. Reduces risk of heart attack

  4. Iron excess can be just as dangerous as iron deficiency

  5. Helps body produce new platelets

  6. Burns calories

  7. Provides a free blood analysis

Brianna Bolden

English IV


2 May 2016

Blood is a necessity for keeping any human alive, without it we would all die. One of the main problems in this world is the lack of blood being donated. There is such a huge demand for more blood donations because people who need it are very limited to what they can get due to the short supply of blood that we have at this time. Although, lots of people do participate in local blood drives, there will always be a demand for more blood. The reason for this, is because every single day more and more people are in need of blood. Accidents happen every day that may cause someone to lose very large amounts of blood unexpectedly.

Many people do not feel that it is safe for their own well-being to take part in donating their blood for someone else. All kinds of excuses have been made concerning why people do not give blood on a normal basis, some excuses may be because of their religious beliefs, to believing it is bad for their body, or simply just being terrified of needles. Some people with certain religious beliefs, such as, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that they should participate in blood transfusions or donations. ("Religion and Organ Donation.") One reasoning for this is because medical treatments that avoid transfusions is much more cost efficient. Another reason for this is to avoid blood-borne diseases as well as immune system reactions. (“Why People With Cancer Might Need Blood Transfusions.”) Another well known excuse that is given, is that they are uncomfortable with the situation because of the various diseases that they believe could be transferred through the donation process. If perhaps, a person is not well educated on the process of donating blood and the health factors, it is very probable that someone could believe that donating blood will cause their iron level to drop significantly. When in reality iron excess can be just as dangerous as iron deficiency. The normal hemoglobin range is 13.5 to 17.5 grams for men, or 12.0 to 15.5 grams for women. ("Iron Deficiency Anemia.")

There are many reasons that people refuse to give blood other than the fact that they are scared of needles, or that their religious beliefs interfere with the idea. As far as blood donations go, there is a vast shortage of blood available due to the many reasons and excuses that people give for not donating. One of the excuses that people give the most often is that they just do not have time to participate in local blood drives because of the simple fact that they have too many other things to do. Not having time is not a good excuse though because the whole questionnaire and donation process together takes around an hour, but the actual donating blood only takes about ten minutes. Many people think that their blood is not needed because it is not one of the most popular types, but it does not matter what kind of blood a person has, all types of blood are important.

A lot of people are denied the opportunity to give blood due to the fact that they do not weigh enough. Donating blood while not weighing enough can be very dangerous for the donor’s body and health. Some donors say they do not need to give blood because they have already given once this year, apparently they are unaware of the fact that you can safely donate blood every eight weeks or sixteen weeks if they have previously given doubles.

A very legitimate reason that there is such a huge demand for blood is for the simple reason that so many patients are receiving an increasingly high amount of treatments such as chemotherapy, organ transplants and heart surgeries. In order for the American Red Cross to have an adequate amount of blood, they need at least 80,000 units per day, and at this time they only have about 36,000 units on hand per day. This means that the Red Cross is over forty units behind their set goal. (“The Nation Has a Major Blood Shortage.”) Bone marrow transplant patients receive large doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. This process destroys the blood-making cells in the bone marrow. After the procedure, the patients usually have very low blood cell counts, and they will need a transfusion after this process. (“Why People With Cancer Might Need Blood Transfusions”.)

Someone is in need of blood every two seconds somewhere in the United States. So much blood is needed daily by various people suffering from various different things in the United States at all hours. In the United States alone nearly twenty one million blood components are transfused a year. Roughly 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every single day in the United States. Almost seven thousand units of platelets and ten thousand units of plasma are needed every day. ("The Nation Has a Major Blood Shortage.") Hospitals typically request type O blood because it is the most common. There are babies born needing blood transfusions if they suffer from sickle cell disease. It is estimated that up to one hundred thousand people are suffering from sickle cell in the United States. It is estimated that about 1.68 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the year 2016, most of them will need transfusions. ("The Nation Has a Major Blood Shortage.") The blood transfusions used for sickle cell and cancer does not even count the transfusions needed by victims of accidents or people in surgery needing blood. The average amount transfused is about three pints. That is three pints that needs to be donated by a generous and caring donor because someone in the world is in desperate need and needs that help. ("The Nation Has a Major Blood Shortage.")

There are many advantages that come from donating blood. After going through the donation process, it seems that blood flows through the body quite a bit easier than it did before donating. Donating blood has a tendency to make the donor live longer. Regular blood donations help keep the iron levels in the body under control especially in males. This has been proven to help reduce risk of heart diseases, which will help prevent heart attacks. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers found that participants ages forty-three to sixty-one, had fewer heart attacks and strokes when they donated blood every six months. In a study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers found in a sample size of almost twenty seven hundred men in Finland, those who donated blood a minimum of once a year had an eighty-eight percent lower risk of heart attacks than those who did not donate. ("Why Donating Blood Is Good For Your Health.") Although iron is an extremely necessary element for the body, having excessive amounts of iron build up can cause immoderate oxidative damage. ("5 Health Benefits of Donating Blood.") Donating blood only one time helps the body burn approximately 650 calories. With the help of blood donations burning calories, a donor that gives on a regular basis could possibly lose a significant amount of weight, but should not use this process as a weight loss technique. ("Why Donating Blood Is Good For Your Health.") Upon donation, donors are tested for many diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, and syphilis. Testing will let the donor know whether or not they are eligible to give blood. If the donor tests positive for any of these particular diseases they will be put on a donor deferral list, and will be notified. ("Why Donating Blood Is Good For Your Health.")

It is important for everyone that is eligible to give blood, to do it. Not only will it benefit the patients receiving the blood, but it also very beneficial for the donor’s health. Taking approximately an hour out of one day, every eight to sixteen weeks, could potentially save three people’s lives each time. It is evident that the American Red Cross is not going to discriminate against any blood type, because they need all types to keep on hand for patients in need. If everyone would stop making excuses and just go to the local blood drive and donate blood, there would not be such an immense shortage of blood.

Works Cited

Borreli, Lizette. "Why Donating Blood Is Good For Your Health." Medical Daily. N.p., 30 May 2013.

Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

"Iron Deficiency Anemia." Tests and Diagnosis. Mayo Clinic Staff, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.

Paul, Abialbon. "5 Health Benefits of Donating Blood." N.p., n.d. Web.


"Religion and Organ Donation." Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Apr.

2016. <>

"Why Donate Blood?" American Red Cross. N.p., 2016. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

"Why Don't Jehovah's Witnesses Accept Blood Transfusions." Jehovah's Witnesses. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2016. <>.

"Why Is It Important for Me to Give Blood?" Once Is Not Enough Come and Give Blood. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2016.

"Why People With Cancer Might Need Blood Transfusions." American Cancer Society. N.p., 7 Oct. 2013. Web. 18 Apr. 2016. <>.

Zabarenko, Deborah. "The Nation Has a Major Blood Shortage." ABC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016. <>.

Blog Reflections

I learned quite a bit from doing my project on blood donations! The most important thing that I learned are the requirements as far as iron levels because if you allow someone to donate blood who doesn't meet the requirements, could be at risk for health issues. I didn't realize how much blood was needed for chemotherapy patients and patients undergoing heart surgery. I also learned that the American Red Cross needs 80,000 units of blood per day, and at this time they're only receiving about 36,000 units per day which isn't even half of their goal. Learning the many reasons that people do not donate blood were very interesting to me, because some of the excuses are not legitimate. Another thing that I learned is how donating blood can benefit the donor.

I feel that just about everything regarding my project went fairly smoothly. Luckily another girl decided to do the same thing for her senior project, so we could split the work between us and collaborate on what needed to be done. Planning for this particular product would have been way too much for just one person. I had to make sure all of the students that signed up for the blood drive were in the system, with an appointment that worked for them. Also I had to make sure that students under seventeen years old had their parent permission slip filled out and returned before they could be scheduled. The only problem that I really found during the blood drive was that the students that we thought had been entered into the online system, weren't saved so therefore their appointments didn't exist. This caused a problem because the students had to come back at different times then they originally planned.

I met with my mentor three times prior to the day of my product, which was the Rockingham County High School blood drive, on March 18th. Each of the meetings were fairly short, but just long enough to give me the information I would need. She created the poster for me to hangup on the sign up table. My mentor was very friendly, and extremely helpful. She came to the school whenever it was convenient for me, and helped me with preparing for the blood drive. She even came back the day of the blood drive to help make sure everything went the way it was supposed to. Luckily, I finished my product when I did, because shortly after, she moved to another state and we lost contact.

I enjoyed researching this topic because I enjoy learning about anything to do with the medical field, because I have always been interested in pursuing a career in this field. I learned a lot from doing this project! Seeing all of the excuses that people come up with for donating blood was interesting because some of them were not legitimate excuses. I think that donating blood every chance you get is very important! I hope this project will help someone else realize the importance of giving blood to help someone in need.

Project hours

February 18..1:30pm-2:00pm

February 22.. 10:00am-11:00am

March 1.. 10:30am-11:00am

March 4.. 12:50pm-1:20pm

March 7.. 12:50pm-1:20pm

March 8.. 12:50pm-1:20pm

March 9.. 12:50pm-1:20pm

March 10.. 12:50pm-1:20pm

March 11.. 12:50pm-1:20pm

March 11.. 1:30pm-3:00pm

March 14.. 12:50pm-1:20pm

March 15.. 12:50pm-1:20pm

March 16.. 12:50pm-1:20pm

March 17.. 8:30am-11:00am

March 18.. 7:30am-3:00pm

Total: 18 hours

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