Tuesday was my first time donating blood. I have thought about it several times and went in expecting to donate a few times (taking antibiotics and cold medicine got me turned down.) I did it right before going into work and I was iffy about the whole thing not knowing how long it would take. I guess, I have pretty good sized veins because they were able to get in there in one shot. Took only about 12 minutes to drain me.
I actually feel good about doing this because I do know that it will be useful for someone who needs it as currently the blood banks are low. I'm not too sure how long a donation can last but it'd be interesting to hear a news report saying that the blood bank is in a surplus. 93% of the 14 million units transfused to 4.9 million patients were collected via donation. Heck, there are even some believed benefits for men donating (reduce the risk of heart disease, controls blood iron levels and monitor your cholesterol level.) They liken it to bleeding off some oil from your car and putting fresh stuff in except your body is making the new stuff. I was pretty impressed with how easy this experience was and plan to do this again in the future. Later, I talked to a friend of mine about my donation and he said something to me that made me wonder: "I'm not donating. They charge so much money for the blood when it's used at the hospital that I'm not giving it for free."
My question for you is: How much of a difference between what it costs them to receive blood (provide extraction machines, provide clean needles, provide clean bags, provide clean surgical tubes, stock the donation center with food and drink, staff the center with medical professionals, store blood in a clean facility, promote donations, etc.) and what they charge the hospital, insurance and the patient? Would this keep you from donating?