Good Reasons to Donate Blood
Not only is January the month of new beginnings, it’s also National Blood Donor Month. Donating blood is a purposeful act that one can make to improve the well-being of a particular individual as well as the greater community. This is the perfect opportunity to give the gift of New Year’s cheer to someone in need.
Naturally, you would think that hospitals would have a vital amount of resources to support the life of injured or ill patients. However, the opposite is often true. A common trend throughout the winter months is a shortage of blood donations creating urgency for donations. Encourage your loved ones, neighbors, or community group to head to a local blood bank and aid an emergency situation.
There are many additional reasons why you should donate blood. We’ve compiled the top three reasons to roll up your sleeves and donate!
1. Receive a mini-physical and analysis of your blood.
After you check in, a medical professional will check your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, and hemoglobin. After donating, your blood will be tested for diseases such as HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis. Test results are confidential and will only be shared with the donor. If the test comes back positive, the donor will be notified and the donor’s blood will be discarded.
2. Replenish your blood supply.
Did you know? Letting go of some blood will support your body function more efficiently. Here’s how:
- You will clean out old red blood cells! New red blood cells will then be produced which are more efficient at carrying oxygen throughout the body.
- By donating blood, you are reducing the amount of iron in the body which decreases the risk of heart disease. A study done by the American Journal of Epidemiology reported that blood donors are 88% less likely to suffer from a heart attack.
3. Save a life.
The need for blood is endless. Your blood can support the recovery of car accident victims, burn patients, cancer patients, and patients suffering from various diseases. It only takes 8 to 10 minutes to donate blood, but the impact is irreversible.
Here are quick tips on how to prepare and what to expect during your visit to donate blood:
- Get your eight hours of sleep the night before!
- The weight requirement for donating blood is 110 pounds.
- Donors must be at least 17 years old.
- Eat a light and healthy meal! The American Red Cross suggests iron-rich foods.
- Refrain from consuming fatty foods such as hamburgers and fried foods close to your blood test. Eating fatty foods can affect the results of your blood test.
- Stay hydrated.
- Bring your donor card, license, or two other forms of identification.
- Have a list of the current medication(s) you are taking.
- Make sure to wear short sleeves or sleeves that are easily rolled up.
- Enjoy the refreshments offered afterwards!
Push up those sleeves and give the gift of life! If you are unsure whether you can donate blood for any reason, contact your Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups physician.