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What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than by giving the gift of life? Every year on Feb. 14, National Donor Day is dedicated to spreading awareness about organ, eye and tissue donation. One way to celebrate, that will have an impact on your community, is by donating blood at your local blood donor center.
Dr. Justin Juskewitch, associate medical director of the Blood Donor Center at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, says the need for blood is constant, but blood banks tend to run low this time of year, especially.
Watch: Dr. Justin Juskewitch discusses the benefits of blood donation.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video is available in the downloads at the end of the post. Please courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network. Name super/CG: Justin Juskewitch, M.D., Ph.D./Blood Donor Center/Mayo Clinic.
"Whomever you donate with, you're helping the entire system and helping some patients somewhere out there. Wherever you are, find out who your local blood collector is and get plugged in. Because even though your blood will pretty much stay locally, where you are, you're helping the system at large," he says.
Whether you donate on a regular basis or just once, the benefits go beyond the lives saved.
"Our donors who are coming in benefit because this is the opportunity in which they can literally save someone's life. This is the one part of medicine in which nearly everyone in the community can be part of someone's medical care," says Dr. Juskewitch.
To make the donation process go as smoothly as possible, Dr. Juskewitch says to make sure to eat before you donate and come well-hydrated to avoid any adverse effects. Whole blood donation takes about one hour.
Read more about blood donation and becoming a donor:
For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was either recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where other safety protocols were followed.
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