Benefits of Blood Donation

Everyday 125 to 150 pints of blood are needed to treat patients in hospitals and clinics. About 15% of the recipients are children.  Blood is needed to treat patients like: accident victims, cancer, cardiac surgery, thalassemia, bleeding disorder, acute anemia. When you come to donate blood, it takes less than 15 minutes of your time (5 to 7 minutes for  donating blood) but for a patient, you give him or her a lifetime, the hope to live. And with one pint, you save up to three lives.

Every time you donate blood, you can help up to three or four recipients. According to Time.com, a study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that people who volunteered unselfishly had a significantly reduced risk of mortality than those who never volunteer. What a wonderful, unselfish gift to give!

Most people donate whole blood. After donation, your blood is separated into its components (red blood cells, platelets and plasma) for distribution to local hospitals – ready to save lives! Go on … donate blood today. Embrace a healthy habit, head over to your local blood centre and give the gift of life. (source: www.sedibengster.com)

The health benefits of donating blood include good health and a reduced risk of cancer and hemochromatosis. It helps in reducing the risk of damage to the liver and pancreas. Donating blood may help in improving cardiovascular health and reducing obesity as well.

Benefits

Donating blood has benefits for your emotional and physical health. According to a report by the Mental Health Foundation 1, helping others can:

  •     reduce stress
  •     improve your emotional well-being
  •     benefit your physical health
  •     help get rid of negative feelings
  •     provide a sense of belonging and reduce isolation

Research has found further evidence of the health benefits that come specifically from donating blood.

Lower risk of heart disease
Blood donation may lower the risk of heart disease and heart attack. This is because it reduces the blood’s viscosity.

A 2013 study 2 Trusted Source found that regular blood donation significantly lowered the mean total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, protecting against cardiovascular disease.

Researchers note this is consistent with findings in other studies which found that blood donors had a lower risk of heart disease and heart attack.

Donating blood regularly may also lower iron stores, according to a 2013 study Trusted Source. This may reduce the risk of heart attack. High body iron stores are believed to increase the risk of heart attack.

Regular blood donations can also lower your blood pressure, which can in turn lower your risk for heart attack.

In a 2016 study 3 Trusted Source looking at those who donated blood over a one-year period of time, the people with a diagnosis of high blood pressure had lower blood pressure measurements after donating blood. Those who donated at least four times over the one-year period showed the most improvement.  

Free health checkup !
In order to give blood, you’re required to undergo a health screening. A trained staff member performs this checkup. They’ll check your:

    pulse
    blood pressure
    hemoglobin levels

This free mini-physical can offer excellent insight into your health. It can effectively detect problems that could indicate an underlying medical condition or risk factors for certain diseases.

Your blood is also tested for several diseases. These include:

 hepatitis B
 hepatitis C
 HIV
Sexually Transmitted Diseases: syphilis and Gonorrhea
(
Gonorrhea is an infection caused by a sexually transmitted bacterium that can infect both males and females. Gonorrhea most often affects the urethra, rectum or throat. In females, gonorrhea can also infect the cervix. Gonorrhea is most commonly spread during sex. )
Irregular antibodies

Kindly note: You must not give blood only to see if you're infected. Example: For an early HIV infection, a person may feel well and a test for HIV may show negative results. This is because laboratory tests cannot detect infection for a certain period of time after exposure to HIV. This is called Window period. IF YOU THINK YOU MAY BE AT RISK FOR THE ABOVE RISKS, YOU SHOULD NOT GIVE BLOOD. BESIDES, IT IS A CRIME SINCE YOU WERE NOT ACURATE AND HONEST IN ANSWERING QUESTIONS BEFORE DONATING BLOOD.

Prevents Hemochromatosis 4

Health benefits of blood donation include a reduced risk of hemochromatosis. Hemochromatosis is a health condition that arises due to excess absorption of iron by the body. This may be inherited or may be caused due to alcoholism, anemia or other disorders. Regular blood donation may help in reducing iron overload. Make sure that the donor meets the standard blood donation eligibility criteria.

Anti-cancer Benefits 4

Blood donation helps in lowering the risk of cancer. By donating blood the iron stores in the body are maintained at healthy levels. According to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, iron may cause accelerated free radical damage in the body and may be linked to an increased risk of cancer and aging. Researchers concluded that reduced iron stores caused due to blood donation may reduce cancer risk.

Maintains Healthy Heart & Liver 4

Blood donation is beneficial in reducing the risk of heart and liver ailments caused by the iron overload in the body. Intake of iron-rich diet may increase the iron levels in the body, and since only limited proportions can be absorbed, excess iron gets stored in the heart, liver, and the pancreas. This, in turn, increases the risk of liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure, damage to the pancreas, and heart abnormalities like irregular heart rhythms. Blood donation helps in maintaining iron levels and reduces the risk of various health ailments.

Stimulates Blood Cell Production 4

After donating blood, the body works to replenish the blood loss. This stimulates the production of new blood cells and, in turn, helps in maintaining good health.

Sources:
1. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/doing-good-altruism-and-wellbeing-age-austerity
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3663474/
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26643612
4. https://www.organicfacts.net

Further Reading: Florida Health