Benefits of Donating Blood
Blood donation helps in saving the lives of people who are in need during emergencies. Benefits of donating blood regularly include physical benefits. This helps a person to have better physical shape of the body thereby reducing the risks of many severe diseases. It also helps in reducing the increased risk of excess iron which gets accumulated in the body, as this may stimulate the formation of free radicals. These cause damage to the tissues and body cells and lead to diseases like cancer and heart diseases. This article also explains about the process and tips for donating blood safely.
Health Benefits of Blood Donation
- Physical Benefits: Each time a person donates blood he/she can have a regular check of their own heath as a basic physical form is given by the health care provider at the clinic. This helps in keeping a track of the blood pressure levels, pulse and other vital organs. A healthy donor can donate blood once in every 56 days and can get physical examination done six times in a year.
- Lowering Iron Levels: Regular donation of blood helps in reducing the iron levels each time a person donates blood. This in turn helps in reducing the risk of heart attacks. High iron levels in the body increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases as these levels increase the process of oxidation of cholesterol in the body. The increased cholesterol level damages arteries which can lead to heart diseases.
- Cancer Risks: The risks of cancer can be reduced by donating the blood regularly which include lung, liver, colon, throat and stomach cancers.
- Heart Attack Risks: Regular blood donation improves the overall and cardiovascular health. People who donate blood regularly have 88% lower risk of heart attacks and 33% lower risk of strokes which are caused due to severe cardiovascular events.
- Replenishes Blood: It also helps in efficient functioning of the body allowing the body to supply blood regularly. According to a study by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer center, a human body replaces the blood volume within 48 hours of donation. The red blood cells lost during donation are replaced completely with 4 to 8 hours and it also helps in staying fit and healthy.
Tips to Donate Blood Safely
Donating blood can transfuse deadly disease like AIDS or hepatitis. But this is a very strong misconception that lies among most people. This is what restricts the donors from donating blood actively. But trust me blood donation is absolutely safe and free from any infections. Certain safety measures are followed like:
- Completing all formalities like giving personal details including name, address, age, id proof etc.
- Complete health check up is done to ensure if you are fit to donate blood.
- The blood is tested to check infections and others to see if it is safe and fit for transfusion.
- A disposable, new sterile syringe is used to draw blood.
Guidelines For A Safe Blood Donation
The guidelines mentioned below are drafted by the Federal Government for making the blood donation successful and free from infections.
- Healthy donor.
- Donor must be at least 17 years old.
- The donor should weigh 110 pounds at least.
- The donor must not have donated blood at least 3-6 months prior to this donation. This duration can be different for different donations.
- The donor should not be on any medication like antibiotics or blood thinning drugs.
How To Donate Blood Without Any Sickness ?
- You must feel positive and confident about your health. Do not go ahead to donate if you feel sick or weak.
- Eat a hearty meal and healthy snack. Your diet must have complex carbohydrates before approaching donation.
- Always keep in mind that you are donating something to save the lives of others. So you can always tolerate a little discomfort for this genuine cause.
- If you are feeling nervous or queasy, then look away as the preparation starts.
- Squeeze the ball or whatever the phlebotomist gives you. This will make your blood flow smooth and fast.
- Lie down for few moments after the donation is completed.
- A high-carb snack and some juice must be taken immediately after donation.
- Do not stand or walk unless you feel well enough to walk over.
Blood Donation to Save Life
Why do we need blood donations? Donating blood is considered to be the most noble act. A single donation is capable of saving approximately 3 lives. Awareness needs to be created to increase the donation. So blood donation camps or centers are started. Read on to know more about the screening, donating and recovering.
- Complete screening of your health will be done before giving blood. The safety of the blood supply is ensured.
- All you need to do is provide your personal details like name, address, age, identification proof, photo or signature identification.
- You just need to take a step and the blood bank professionals will do the rest.
- They will measure your blood pressure, pulse and temperature.
- Iron level in your body will be done by taking a drop of blood from your earlobe or finger.
- You may be asked a few questions about your health, disease risk factors, lifestyle and sexual behavior.
- Once your screening is over with a positive result, you are now eligible for donation.
- You will be made to sit on a padded table or chair.
- The area from where the blood is taken is cleaned with cotton damped in rectified spirit.
- Then a new, sterile needle is inserted through your skin.
- The needle is made to insert into a vein of your arm.
- After this, the blood flows from the vein through a soft-plastic tube.
- This soft tube is attached to the needle so that the blood is made to flow through it.
- The blood is then collected into a plastic bag present at your side.
- You can collect about one pint or less (1 pint = 500 ml) in about 15 minutes.
- After the blood is collected, the needle is removed and the wound is bandaged.
- After the donation procedure is over, you need to relax and sit calm.
- Some cookies and refreshments will be given to replenish fluids in your body.
- Most of the people feel fine immediately, while a few might feel slightly weak which will be recovered in minutes.
- Then you can return to your regular routine and schedule.
How Can You Recover Fast ?
- Drinking extra fluids in the following 24 hours.
- Should not smoke for at least one hour following donation.
- Refrain yourself from heavy muscular activities or strenuous activity.
- Avoid activities like lifting or pushing heavy objects. This should be done for at least four hours following a donation.