Have you ever walked down a busy street or parking lot and seen those large trucks asking for blood donations?
Your first thought may be to continue on your way as you may feel skeptical about donating your blood. You’ve never heard of the company’s name, and naturally, your intuition tells you that you should research the topic first.
However, you end up brushing off the thought and never really look into it.
Ask yourself if you have genuinely ever stopped to think about what blood donation means and in what ways it can help our community.
If your answer is no, I am here to tell you about the importance of raising awareness about blood donation, especially in our Latino community.
Latino Blood Donation is In High Demand
Most individuals within the Latino community have Type O blood, the blood type in the highest demand. Type O blood is the most common blood type, so donating to help those in need is fundamental.
In addition, Type O- blood is considered the universal blood donor, as it can be donated to individuals with any blood type. Those with Type O+ can donate to all positive blood types.
There is a Blood Supply Shortage
Unfortunately, only a tiny percentage of Hispanics donate blood. As previously mentioned, we Latinos mainly have Type O blood.
Latinos, who mostly have a blood type that can be used in a wide variety of life or death situations, do not feel inclined to donate blood, aiding the blood supply shortage for hospitals.
There Are Many Myths Surrounding Blood Donation
Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths surrounding blood donation in our Latino community.
Growing up, I would hear things such as that blood donation makes you gain weight or that you can get sick from the “procedure.” Even recently, my Latina mom told me I’d never be able to donate blood because I have tattoos and piercings.
In reality, however, you can donate blood almost immediately after getting a tattoo if it’s done at a state-regulated shop, or you simply must wait 12 months before donating.
These myths hinder our community from providing such a fundamental act of service for those that are in need.
We must educate our community to help them become informed and understand the importance of blood donation.