Imagine you’re in the car with your family on your way to a birthday dinner. It’s your birthday and you’re planning on having a couple celebratory drinks. You’re being responsible by letting someone else drive. You approach a quiet intersection on a major thoroughfare, the light is green, so you sail through. Out of nowhere a truck comes barreling through a red light and side-swipes your car. Your life flashes before your eyes and then everything goes dark.
When you come-to there is an ambulance on site and you’re pinned down on a gurney. They’ve strapped you down as a precautionary measure until they’ve checked to make sure there has been no spinal damage. You’re banged up, but you feel fine. The driver however, your loved on, is not in good shape. The paramedic indicates that he/she has lost a lot of blood and asks you “Do you know his/her blood type?”
This simple fact could mean the difference between life and death. It could save the emergency doctors the precious few moments needed to get your loved one the right life-saving blood transfusion.
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t know your own blood type, let alone that of your loved ones. You’re more likely to know their Twitter or Instagram handle.
There are eight common blood types:
- AB+ (Universal Recipient – You can receive blood from anyone)
- O- (Universal Donor – You can donate to anyone)
Your blood type determines what blood you can receive should you require a blood transfusion. And getting the type right is literally the difference between life and death. So, unless have AB+ blood which makes you a universal recipient, you should find out what blood type you AND your loved ones have.
Did you know that getting your blood type tested is as easy as getting your finger pricked? The Canadian Blood Services runs regular blood typing clinics all over the country. You can find dates/locations right on their website at: https://blood.ca/en/donate . Put in your city, a date range and be sure to select the ‘Blood Typing’ under the advanced search options.
Get your blood tested today. But don’t stop there. Make sure you make a note of this somewhere that can be quickly retrieved. Consider putting it on a sticky note and attaching it to your driver’s license. Leave a copy of it with your vehicle insurance and registration. Log your loved ones’ blood type also. Use the contacts feature in your phone and add a new phone number labelled as ‘blood type’ so you can look it up quickly. Send yourself an email with the subject line: “Blood Types” that lists everyone in your family alongside their blood types. Send the email to everyone so all they must do is search “Blood Types” in the email application on their phone to retrieve it.
Don’t let yourself or your loved ones down by not having this very simple fact available when you need it.