Keeping Fans’ Blood Pressure in Check

By Doug Bardwell – American Red Cross volunteer

It’s June again, and Cavs fans blood pressures are rising.  It could have to do with missed free throws.  It might be due to poor calls by the selectively blind referees. Or it could be due to an opponent overly adept at shooting three-point baskets from obscene distances.

In any event, it’s NBA Finals time and collectively our blood pressures are on the rise…. which is not a good thing.

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Hopefully, this situation will improve shortly; but high blood pressure can be caused by a number of other factors, and it’s something that definitely needs to be monitored.

Some symptoms of dangerously high blood pressure include:

  • Severe headache
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Problems with your vision
  • Throbbing in your chest, ears or neck

If you notice these symptoms, it’s wise to seek a doctor’s help quickly. Extreme blood pressure problems could cause a stroke or heart disease.

Remedies for high blood pressure (for other than NBA-induced causes) include:

  • Adopting a healthy diet
  • Regularly exercising
  • Losing weight
  • Reducing sodium in the diet
  • Cutting back on caffeine
  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting use of alcohol
  • Reducing stress

One other thing everyone can do is to get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.  How about every eight weeks for example?

That’s how often you can donate blood, and each time you donate, you’ll get a mini-checkup from your friendly Blood Services professional at the donation site.  Iron levels and blood pressure are always checked before you donate, so you won’t develop a problem without being alerted.dougdonating

Give yourself plenty of time to get to your donation location, as blood pressure can rise needlessly if you are stressed about being late to your appointment. Fortunately, in a case like that, sitting quietly for 10-15 minutes should bring you right back to normal levels, and your pressure can be checked a second time.

To schedule your regular eight-week appointment, log on to redcrossblood.org and pick a convenient date and location. Or, you can do it quickly from the Red Cross Blood Donor App for your Android or iOS phone.

Blood Donors Give at Gateway

By Ryan McDivitt, American Red Cross Volunteer

Electricity was still in the air at Cleveland’s Gateway Plaza Monday, June 20th  just hours after the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Championship. While hundreds of fans lined up to buy Cavaliers gear at Quicken Loans Arena, two American Red Cross blood mobiles were parked on the adjacent plaza between the Q and Progressive Field for the annual Cleveland Indians Blood drive.

The Red Cross partnered with the Indians and Cleveland Clinic to collect urgently needed blood. Summer vacations and activities often make it difficult to collect the 14,000 lifesaving blood donations needed every day, so blood drives like this are a huge contribution to the community.

Donors were given a chance to win free tickets to an upcoming Indian’s game as an incentive to attract caring individuals to donate their blood, plasma, and platelets.

And because the bloodmobiles were parked in the shadow of the Q, donors were able to snap selfies with the home of the NBA Champs in the background.

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Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

Donors can save time whenever they give blood with Rapidpass. The pre-donation information and health history questionnaire can be filled out online on the day of the donation at redcrossblood.org/rapidpass.

The Red Cross strives to make donating blood a convenient, easy, and rewarding experience. The Red Cross Blood Donor app allows its users to manage donation appointments, track the lifetime impact of their donations, and even earn rewards doing so. If you would like to help save a life by donating blood, download the Red Cross Blood app, visit redcrossblood.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment.

And congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers!

And go Tribe!