Health

7 reasons why you must donate blood: Health benefits to the donor apart from saving another life

Written by corres2


Blood donation saves lives&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspiStock Images

Key Highlights

  • Blood donation is a noble cause.
  • But beyond that, it also ensures benefits to the donors.
  • Surprised? Read on to know just how.

Have you ever given a thought to how the human race would have fared — had certain discoveries not been made? Discoveries such as the fact that blood circulates in the human body in a certain manner (1628, British physician William Harvey) or that there are 3 primary blood groups (1901, Karl Landsteiner, an Austrian physician) and that Rh (rhesus) factors have to be compatible for blood donation (1939-40, Karl Landsteiner, Alexander Wiener, Philip Levine and R.E. Stetson). Or inventions such as blood transfusion techniques — as in 1665, when the first recorded successful blood transfusion occurred in England when physician Richard Lower succeeded in saving a dog’s life by transfusing blood from other dogs. Or in 1818, when British obstetrician James Blundell performed the first successful transfusion of human blood to a patient for the treatment of postpartum haemorrhage.

We have come a long way since then. The US government established a national blood collection program in 1940, to be taken forward by the Red Cross society that used the technique and donated blood to save the lives of soldiers in 1941 and onwards (WWII). Today we take blood transfusion, donation, and collection for granted.

Millions of people donate blood every year. Millions need blood transfusions each year. Millions of lives are saved due to the availability of blood for transfusion BECAUSE someone chose to donate blood. Some may need blood during surgery. Others depend on it after an accident or because they have a disease that requires blood components.

All this is possible because there is a system in place that helps donation and supply of human blood — a component for which there is no alternative. All transfusions use blood from a donor.

Did you know that it is a healthy practice to donate blood?

  1. Free Health Screening: When you come in to donate, you help provide lifesaving care to patients in need. But you also receive the added benefit of a free mini-health assessment — prior to the donation of blood. Your blood pressure, haemoglobin, and pulse will be checked. Red Cross blood donation centres also record these vitals in the individual’s online donor profile where you can track and monitor your results. An occasional check up on your blood quality could be the key to spotting a health issue before it becomes life-threatening.
  2. Your health data online: You can access this information as well as past health information obtained during prior donations, at any time. Your online profile is a great resource to track your health goals and share them with your care providers.
  3. You help save someone’s life: After giving, your blood is processed and separated into its few key components: red blood cells, platelets, and plasma. In a hospital setting, your blood may be used for someone who needs a transfusion to fight death or disability. It will give you peace of mind knowing that you are donating your time and blood to those who need it.
  4. Helps lower iron-overload toxicity: One of the benefits of giving blood that directly affects you is that you can lower the iron levels in your body, which can reduce your risk of heart disease. Some people can have a dangerous build-up of iron as they consume too much iron day-to-day. By giving blood, you lower your iron levels and allow your body to replenish it with fresh blood.
  5. Reduced risk of developing cancer & heart ailment: According to recent research, lowering levels of iron in the blood can reduce the risk of that individual developing cancer, even if the odds are slim. Donating blood on a semi-regular basis can continue to lower your iron levels, lessen the stress you feel, and reduce the chances of you suffering a heart attack
  6. Your liver will thank you: Another danger of iron overload is the health of your liver. “In recent years, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the hepatic expression of metabolic syndrome, has reached epidemic proportions, says a report by Rasmussen University
  7. There is a worldwide shortfall of blood and it’s your world too: Blood donations are absolutely critical right now as the United States faces the worst blood shortage in over a decade, according to the American Red Cross website. And this is reflective of the entire world, especially since March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic that began in Wuhan (China) surged across the world. Any one of us could require blood, 

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.


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