By Dr. Divya Mandial | 13th Jun 2023
Blood donation is a precious and life-saving gift we can offer others. Even though our contribution may appear small, it plays a vital role in saving lives. It helps in situations like accidents, surgeries, and complications during pregnancy. Medical conditions such as thalassemia, leukaemia, sickle cell disease, aplastic anaemia, bleeding disorders, and certain types of cancer also need blood for treatment.
Your donation could be the lifeline for someone in a critical situation. Regular blood donation ensures that blood banks are well-stocked. They meet the immediate needs of those affected by such events.
While this generous act provides hope to individuals in critical situations. It also benefits the health of those who donate blood. It’s true! When you donate blood, you impact someone else’s life and get some incredible health advantages.
Your selfless act of donating blood can impact your health. The many benefits of blood donation on your health include:
Regular blood donation can improve and lowers the risk of cardiovascular health. It reduces the viscosity of blood and promotes better blood flow. When the blood flow is better, it prevents the formation of blood clots. It reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It also improves your lipid profile by eliminating LDL or bad cholesterol from the blood.
Blood donation reduces the risk of hypertension. When you donate blood, a certain volume of blood exits your body. The reduction in blood volume leads to a decrease in the total amount of fluid in circulation. Blood donation helps maintain a healthy fluid balance in the body. Further, blood donation also helps maintain a healthy fluid balance.
Blood donation can lower the risk of liver, lung, and colorectal cancer. High iron levels can increase oxidative stress in the body, damaging cells and DNA. It contributes to cancer development. Donating blood can help decrease the amount of iron stored in the body. It lowers the levels of oxidative stress. Reducing iron and oxidative stress can help lower the risk of developing cancer.
Donating blood burns approximately 650 calories per donation, aiding in weight loss efforts. While it’s important to maintain an exercise routine and eat a balanced diet. Blood donation can be a valuable addition to a healthy lifestyle.
Hemochromatosis is a condition characterised by excess iron accumulation in the body. Donating blood regularly can help people with hemochromatosis. It keeps their iron levels in check. Each time someone donates blood, a certain amount of iron is taken out of their body. This helps lower the chances of problems that can occur when there is too much iron in the body.
Blood donation stimulates the body to produce fresh, healthy blood cells. The process improves blood flow to circulate oxygen and nutrients to vital organs. Moreover, it helps maintain balanced iron levels in your body.
When we donate blood, our body replenishes the lost blood cells. The bone marrow produces new and fresh blood cells. It ensures a healthy blood supply for the donor and the recipient.
Blood donation can also reduce skin-related disorders. It improves blood flow to promote healthy skin, reducing acne and other skin problems.
One of the most remarkable benefits of blood donation is the free health checkup. Before donating blood, you undergo a health checkup. It includes your blood pressure, haemoglobin, and infectious disease screening. It is a good opportunity to check your health and detect any underlying conditions.
Blood donation centres prioritise donor safety. All necessary precautions are taken to minimise risks and ensure a positive donation. The majority of individuals donate blood without experiencing any adverse effects. The blood donation side effects and risks are generally mild and temporary. These include:
It’s common to experience some fatigue and dizziness after donating blood. It occurs due to a temporary decrease in blood volume. Most individuals recover from these effects within a few hours. Resting, staying hydrated, and eating a light snack can help reduce these symptoms.
Bruising and soreness can occur at the needle insertion site after donating blood. It is a normal reaction and usually resolves within a few days. Applying a cold compress and avoiding rubbing the area can reduce the discomfort.
Regular blood donation may decrease iron levels in the body. It can lead to iron deficiency. To minimise this risk, maintain a balanced diet rich in iron-rich foods and iron supplements. It can help restore iron levels in the body.
Individuals with good physical and mental health can volunteer for blood donation. They should not have acute or chronic illnesses that could worsen after donation. According to WHO, an individual must meet the following eligibility criteria to volunteer blood donation:
The professionals at blood donation sites confirm your eligibility before taking blood. It is important that you inform them about any medical condition.
People who have diseases like AIDS, hepatitis B or C, genital herpes, gonorrhea, and syphilis cannot donate blood. It is because there is a risk of passing on these infections through their blood. Additionally, if you have severe heart disease, uncontrolled diabetes, or cancer, you are not eligible to donate blood. Other factors that make you ineligible for blood donation include:
The compatibility between the donor and recipient blood groups is most important. Here is a general guide to blood group compatibility for donation:
The final compatibility during the screening and blood group matching process is done by a doctor.
If you wish to donate blood, look for a reputable blood donation centre or a blood drive nearby. Hospitals, blood banks, and Red Cross often holds blood donation camps. Go through their websites and social media platforms for information on upcoming drives.
You complete a registration form at the donation centre or blood donation camp. The registration form collects basic information about you, such as your name, contact details, and medical history. Then a trained healthcare professional performs your Screening. It includes reviewing your medical history, and checking if you meet the eligibility criteria. Your blood pressure, pulse rate, and haemoglobin levels are also recorded. If you are eligible, the blood donation procedure begins. The blood donation process consists of the following steps:
Before blood donation, it is important to avoid certain things. It ensures a safe and successful donation. Here are some things to avoid:
If you plan to donate blood, know the tips to ensure your safety and aid the recovery process. Here’s a guide on what to take care of after donating blood:
Blood donation can save lives and support medical treatments. It provides a lifeline to those in need. In light of the above facts, the health benefits of blood donation to the donor seem considerable. It can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It is also a complementary approach to losing weight. Individuals with high cholesterol can manage their cholesterol levels by donating blood. You can also maintain good skin health by donating blood often. It’s time to step out and donate blood and encourage everyone around you to donate blood.
Disclaimer: The information given in this article is true to our best knowledge. Still, we recommend you consult your doctor or health care professionals at the donation centres if you have any concerns about donating blood.
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