What Are the Benefits Of Blood Donation?
Donating blood is crucial for many persons needing blood due to several reasons. As per the American Red Cross, a single donation can save up to 3 lives. Another important figure is that someone in the US requires a blood transfusion every 2 seconds.
Persons with cancer and Sickle Cell Anaemia need blood transfusions throughout their treatment. As for a single accident victim, he requires nearly 100 pints of blood. Because blood cannot be manufactured or made, such patients depend on blood donors for the sake of their very life.
However, is there any benefits of donating blood? It is not common to hear about the aspects related to the blood donor. Though the perceived impact is very low, the fact is that blood donors enjoy several health benefits.
Reveals potential health problems
Though it does not amount to consulting a doctor, donation of blood can be yet another mode to keep track of your health. Prior to donating blood, you have to undergo a medical check-up. These include vitals like blood pressure, pulse, haemoglobin, body temperature, etc.
Such free physical tests can provide excellent insight into your health. It can detect problems effectively, which could indicate a risk factor or underlying medical condition for some diseases.
The blood test will also check for conditions like HIV, Hepatitis C, West Nile Virus, Hepatitis B, Trypanosoma Cruzi, and Syphilis. The clinic will inform you if they note any unusual health condition. An occasional check of your blood quality could be important for spotting a health issue before it proves life-threatening.
Reduce harmful stores of iron
A huge percentage of the population in the world suffers from a condition called Hemochromatosis, and most of them are not aware of it. This is a disease caused by an overload of iron in the body and has been deemed by the Mayo Clinic as the number 1 genetic disease of Caucasians.
Blood donation is recommended as a mode to reduce extra stores of iron in the body. As per the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, removal of red blood cells via Phlebotomy (donation of blood) is the ideal treatment for those with excess iron in their blood.
Reduce the risk of heart attack
As per figures of the American Journal of Epidemiology, donating blood, even once a year, can reduce the risk of heart attack by 88%. This is because high levels of iron in the blood lead to constriction of blood vessels, causing a high risk of a heart attack. Depletion of iron deposits through blood donation creates more room in the vessels for the flow of blood.
Reduced risk of cancer
In healthy adults, there is very little relation between giving blood and the risk of cancer. But research points out those blood donors with maladies like Hemochromatosis did benefit from less risk of cancer. This was reported by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Maintain healthy liver
As per research, there is a strong link between iron overload and health of the liver with issues like Hepatitis C, NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease), and others. Though there are other reasons for this condition, blood donation can reduce iron stores that impact the liver.
Alleviates mental issues
Though there are many physical benefits of donating blood, the most powerful health benefit is psychological. Donating blood implies that you are helping someone in need. Thus, blood donation amounts to volunteer work.
Regular donations also help cultivate good relationships with those at the clinic that are dedicated to saving lives.
Such kinds of altruistic interactions have many psychological benefits. Blood donation is linked to mental happiness, which reduces states of depression and loneliness.
In sum, these are some of the ways in which blood donation benefits the patients, the donor, and the community.