Every year, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide including children with illnesses like severe malaria, accident victims, cancer patients and women with complications of childbirth; require blood donation to live.
They either require whole blood with all its accompanying constituents or specific blood products, like platelets.
These products are separated by scientific procedures and are useful for more people with specific needs.
To replace lost blood products, only blood donated (often grouped, crossmatched and screened before use) is considered perfect for replacement.
January being the blood donor month makes it a time for creating awareness for healthy members of society to donate blood frequently as blood can only be stored for a limited time after donation.
You can only donate about 500ml of blood with at least 8 weeks between donations. The body replenishes the lost blood within 2 days after donation.
Below are five benefits of donating blood:
1.The joy of giving
As humans, blood cannot be manufactured, people in need with illnesses such as cancer can only get treatment from donated blood.
One donation can save up to three lives and knowing this gives the donor a sense of good feeling and significance, like a superhero!
2.Reduction of risks of developing heart and liver disease
Frequent blood donations help keep the iron levels in the body at a level beneficial to the body.
When there is iron overload, the excess iron is stored primarily in the heart and liver and can cause severe damage to these organs. It also reduces the total cholesterol level in the blood.
3.Reduces the risk of cancer
For certain cancers related to high iron levels like liver, colon and stomach cancer, regular blood donation can reduce the risk of developing these cancers.
Donating blood may be beneficial, especially to those hoping to lose weight. This is because each unit of blood donated rids you of about 650 calories. You should, however, check with your doctor if this appropriate for you as it is not a conventional method of achieving weight loss.
5.Uncover potential health issues
During the screening process before blood donation is commenced, the donor is assessed for their physical fitness and checked for common infectious diseases before getting certified to donate blood.
This has proven helpful and can help detect current illnesses or identify red flags for other conditions.