Atheists United is proud to host a quarterly blood drive for the community. During our seasonal parties (March, July, September and December) Cedars-Sanai will bring their bus to the party and accept blood donations from our community. Donations will be accepted throughout the party, from 10:30am – 3:30pm.
Below is some information that’ll answer some common questions that will likely arise.
Contrary to some myths, most common daily medications are not a problem (cholesterol, blood pressure, antidepressants, birth control, thyroid, even diabetics taking insulin are okay). Everyone will get a free “mini physical” prior to donating (temp, pulse, blood pressure, and iron check). Many people make false assumptions that they, themselves, aren’t able to give blood. One should never assume that they can’t donate. On the contrary, until one is told they aren’t able to donate specifically by a blood drive nurse, everyone can assume that they are eligible and try to participate. Actual, true anemia isn’t as common as one believes. Just because someone may have had low iron once or twice in their life doesn’t mean they can’t ever give blood. You might pass the test and give blood even if you are anemic and take iron supplements. Bulking up on some of the foods high in iron several days prior to giving blood can help
Iron is needed by your body to manufacture healthy blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to all the cells of the body. The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) recommended intakes l for iron are: 8 mg/day for men (19+ years) and post menopausal women (>51 years); 18 mg/day for women in their childbearing years (19-50 years); 27 mg/day for pregnant women and 9 mg/day for lactating women (19+ years).
Iron is found in two forms in food. The iron from meat sources is absorbed more easily than iron from plant sources. Vitamin C, which is found in citrus fruits and juices as well as vegetables helps to enhance the absorption of iron from foods. Iron may also be absorbed into foods when cooked in iron cookware.
Drinking coffee or tea with a meal can greatly decrease iron absorption, therefore it is best not to drink them within one hour of mealtime. Iron absorption can also be lowered by antacid use or a diet excessive in fiber. Dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, milk and yogurt, although rich in calcium, have negligible iron content. It is important to eat a variety of foods every day.