There are countless benefits to blood donation for individuals in need. According to the American Red Cross, a single donation can save up to three lives, and someone needs blood every two seconds in the United States. Blood donations are critical for sustaining a vital blood supply to assist in the survival and improvement of surgery patients, trauma victims, cancer patients, and persons suffering from chronic illness.
The two most often used types of blood donation are whole blood donation and a procedure called apheresis. Whole blood donation is the most common type, and refers to giving a pint or half a liter of whole blood. Platelets, red blood cells, and plasma are then isolated from the rest of the blood to be used as necessary. Apheresis is a procedure in which you are connected to a machine that collects and separates blood components, the plasma, red cells, and platelets, and then returns to you the components that are not needed.
It turns out that blood donation benefits more than simply the receivers. In addition to the benefits associated with helping others, contributors gain health benefits.
Donating blood is an excellent way to monitor cardiovascular health without going to the doctor. Before drawing your blood, you will have a mini-physical in which they will check your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, hemoglobin, and other vital signs. This can sometimes bring to light medical concerns you were unaware of.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, donating blood at least once a year can reduce your chance of having a heart attack by 88 percent. this is because increased iron levels in the blood constrict your blood vessels, increasing your chance of having a heart attack. You can help deplete those additional iron deposits and give your vessels more room to do their work by donating blood.
One in every 200 persons in the United States is affected by a disorder called hemochromatosis, and most are unaware of it. Hemochromatosis is a hereditary disorder that results in an iron overload. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is the most common genetic condition among Caucasians. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people with excess iron in their blood should undergo phlebotomy (or blood donation) to remove red blood cells.
According to some research, blood donation may also help lower blood pressure. In 2015, scientists examined the blood pressure of 292 donors who donated blood from one to four times during a 12 month period. Around half had hypertension before the study began. In general, those with hypertension saw a reduction in their blood pressure. The more frequently a person donated blood, the more significant the improvement. According to some experts, because blood pressure measurement is a required component of blood donation, it provides an excellent opportunity for people to become aware of their readings and, if necessary, learn how to reduce them.
While there are numerous medical benefits of blood donation, the most significant health benefit may be psychological. Donating blood ensures that one or several people in need of assistance will receive it.
Donating blood, particularly when done regularly, can be compared to volunteer work. You volunteer your time to assist strangers in need. If you visit a specific blood donation facility regularly, you will also get to know some of the staff members who are committed to saving lives, just like you.
Regular altruistic engagement offers significant psychological advantages. Leaving your typical environment to do something helpful for another person is highly stimulating in a positive way. Numerous studies have indicated that participating in volunteer work increases one’s sense of well-being.