• Ask the Expert – All About Blood

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    Cape Cod Healthcare
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    Cape Cod Healthcare Blood Center conducts blood drives many times a month. Donations are critical because Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital collect only about 40 percent of the 10,000 pints needed every year. The rest must be purchased off Cape for as much as $280 a pint.

    Please visit the Cape Cod Blood Center to learn more about how to donate and the times and locations of upcoming blood drives.

    If you wish to sponsor a blood drive, please contact Diane Pratt

    How long does a routine blood donation take?

    Allow about 30 to 45 minutes for the entire process, which includes your mini-physical, donation and a brief stay in our donor area for refreshments. The actual blood donation will take only 6 to 10 minutes.

    May I donate if I’m on medications or have had a severe illness?

    Many medications, including those for high blood pressure and birth control, are acceptable as long as

    your “mini-physical” shows that your blood pressure, temperature and blood hemoglobin levels are okay. You usually can donate once you have completely  recovered from surgery or illness. For additional questions regarding eligibility, please refer them to the blood center’s main office at 508-86BLOOD.

    Can I get HIV/AIDS by giving blood?

    No. You cannot contract AIDS or any other disease.  Blood is drawn with a sterile needle,

    which is individually packaged and used only once. After a donation, the staff will dispose of the blood collection equipment appropriately.

    How will I feel after I give?

    Most donors feel great. When you donate blood, you give less than a pint. The average adult body contains 8 to 12 pints, and the body makes more blood constantly. Donors should avoid nicotine for 30 minutes after donating. Also, donors should drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol and caffeine for the rest of the day if possible.

    How long does blood last?

    Blood is a living, perishable liquid. Blood centers can store red blood cell donations for up to 42 days, but platelet donations (the component that enables blood to clot) are viable for only five days. To make sure that our community blood supply is prepared to meet all needs, the Cape Cod Healthcare Blood Center encourages donors to give regularly, particularly in the summer and during the winter holidays.

    March 14, 2014