The Gift of Life
Blood is always needed, since surgeries and accidents are daily life occurrences. In Puerto Vallarta you won’t likely be paid monetarily for giving blood but you will benefit in the case you are ever in the position of needing a transfusion yourself. If, in the following five years after you have donated blood, you will receive unit per unit up to five pints for the donations you make. Though we don’t like to think about these things, this could be very valuable if you are ever in an accident or requiring surgery where transfusions are necessary.
Another benefit, most valuable, will be a comprehensive examination of your blood, which includes tests for HIV, Hepatitis C, brucella, syphilis, chagas (parasites), hematocrit, Rh factor, blood type and cross-match compatibility. You can march back into the donation center after two weeks to pick up your official donor card and results. We can’t think of a much better return on a priceless contribution.
To donate, you must be over 18 years of age. Unless you are in robust health you cannot be over 65 and the doctor has the final say. There are some simple requirements, such as fasting a minimum of 4 hours but not more than 8; no drinking alcohol for 48 hours prior to making your gift of blood; you must weigh a minimum 50 kilos (110 pounds) and have the doctor’s overall approval that you are in good health.
There are also restrictions for those willing to help the less fortunate, and we are happy to report they’ve been relaxed in the past few years since our arrival in Puerto Vallarta. If you are donating blood, you cannot have received any vaccinations nor taken antibiotics or other specified medications in the past month. Those with tattoos over a year old can donate but the rules prohibit anyone who has had needle art within that period of time. This also includes piercings; the time limit is also one year. Pregnancy and breastfeeding also exclude the giver, and menstruating if one is not in excellent health. Anyone having had a recent transfusion and recent surgeries fall into this category, as well. It does get a bit personal when discussing sexual partners and disallows anyone with multiple partners in the past five years. Of course, anyone who has tested positive for HIV, Hepatitis, Syphilis, Dengue or Zika. If you’re currently suffering from even a mild illness, such as a cold or the flu, you are automatically eliminated; please, come back later when you are well.
The Hospital San Javier on the second floor is the location of the Blood Donation Center in Puerto Vallarta. They are open Monday – Friday from 8 am – 2 pm, 4 pm – 6 pm; and Saturdays from 8 am – 2 pm.
Don’t forget to bring photo ID, your passport being the best option.
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Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!
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