You may have heard donating one pint of blood saves up to three lives, but there's another life that may be saved in addition to that: Your own. Not only are you helping those in need, you're also helping yourself. Here are some ways how the health outcomes in giving blood can B+.
A Free Mini-Checkup
Your blood pressure, heart rate, and hemoglobin levels are evaluated. You'll find out your blood type in case you didn't know that either!
Your blood will undergo testing for infectious diseases prior to transfusion. These diseases include West Nile, Zika, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, and syphilis. If any of these tests come back positive, you are informed immediately with strict confidentiality. All this with no health insurance necessary nor will you receive medical bills in the mail!
Improved Blood Flow
If you have high iron levels in your body, giving blood can help lower those levels and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, if you are anemic (iron deficient), you are discouraged from donating. In fact, during your mini-checkup, your red blood cells will be evaluated for iron and the administrator will confirm if you are qualified to donate.
Reduced Risk of Cancer
In conjunction with regulating iron levels, donating blood can reduce the risk of developing cancer, as reported in a study by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Even cancer patients within the study who reduced their iron levels had a lower risk of fatality from the disease.
Per whole blood donation, about 650 calories are burned in the process of your body replacing the pint of blood that was just taken. This in no way condones using blood donation as a weight loss plan, but it is an every-eight-week avenue to continue maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
How Often Can I Give Blood?
Whole Blood - Once per 8 weeks, or 6 times a year! Whole Blood is used for patients who have experienced serious blood loss caused by either surgery or an accident.
Double Red Blood Cells - Once per 16 weeks, or 3 times a year! The difference in Double Red Blood Cells to Whole Blood, is their use for absolutely time-sensitive transfusions, such as for trauma patients, newborns, and painful sickle cell anemia.
The Bottom Line
With just 18,000 people donating on average per day, but 32,000 pints of blood used on a daily basis, there is a significant blood shortage in the United States. Provided you meet the requirements to donate blood, this is the easiest opportunity to impact the lives of those in need.
Houston residents - Elite Medical Laboratory is hosting a blood drive on Friday, October 26th. Sign up today and receive shirts from BOTH Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center and Elite Medical Laboratory, and stop by the catering table to refuel after! Here is your chance to make a difference in the lives of others, as well as your own.