The benefits of donation are indeed hard to overestimate. According to the American Red Cross, one donation can save as many as three lives, but every few seconds in our country someone needs blood.
Here are some important things all donors need to know about:
- You must be of legal age.
- You must weigh at least 50 kg and have good health.
- You must provide health information and any medications you are taking.
- Before donating blood again, you must wait at least 8 weeks after donating whole blood and 16 weeks after donating red blood cells.
- Platelet donation can be done every 7 days, up to 24 times a year.
The following are some guidelines to help you prepare for blood donation:
- Drink an additional 500 ml of water before the procedure.
- Eat healthy, low fat foods.
- Wear short-sleeved clothing or easy-to-roll clothing.
Tell staff your preferences for a comfortable position, music, reading, or talking to help you relax during the process.
It turns out that blood donation is beneficial not only to recipients – donors improve their health. Read on to learn about the health benefits of blood donation and other details of this noble cause.
Benefits of donating blood for a donor
Blood donation benefits both emotional and physical health.
According to a mental health fund report, helping others can:
- Reduce stress.
- Improve your emotional well-being.
- Improve your physical health.
- Help get rid of negative feelings.
- Provide a sense of ownership and reduce isolation.
Next, we’ll talk about the benefits of blood donation specifically.
Low risk of heart disease
Blood donation can reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack. The reason is a decrease in blood viscosity.
In 2013, a Trusted Source study found that regular blood donation significantly reduced average total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, protecting against cardiovascular disease. Scientists note that this is consistent with other studies that showed that blood donors had a lower risk of heart disease and heart attack.
According to a study conducted in 2013, regular blood donation can also reduce iron stores, reducing the risk of a heart attack. It is believed that iron stores in the body increase the risk of this condition.
Regular blood donation can lower blood pressure, which in turn also affects the risk of a heart attack. In a 2016 study of those who donated blood for one year, people diagnosed with high blood pressure had lower rates after donating blood. Those who donated blood at least four times a year showed the greatest improvement.
Free health check
To donate blood, you must undergo a health examination.
The doctor will check your:
- Blood pressure.
- Body temperature.
- Hemoglobin level.
This free little physical examination can tell a lot about your health. It will help detect problems that may indicate the underlying disease or risk factors for certain conditions.
Your blood is also tested for several diseases:
- Hepatitis B.
- Hepatitis C.
Blood donation risks for the donor
Blood donation is safe for healthy adults. There is no risk of getting sick, as new, sterile equipment is used for each donor.
Some people may feel nauseous, dizzy, or weak after giving blood. If this happens, lie down with your legs up until you feel better. In addition, there may be slight bleeding at the puncture site. Applying pressure and raising your hand for a couple of minutes usually stops him. A bruise may also occur in place.
Call the blood donation center if:
- You still feel dizzy, weak, or nauseous after drinking, eating, and resting.
- A lump has appeared on the arm or bleeding continues at the puncture site.
- You experience pain, numbness, or tingling in your hand.
How does the blood donation process take place?
To donate blood, you must register. Registration includes identification, your medical history, and a quick physical exam. You will also be provided with printed information about the procedure.
Whole blood donation is the most common type of donation. This is due to the fact that it is quite “flexible”. Such blood can be used in its entirety or divided into red blood cells, platelets and plasma for different recipients.
The whole blood donation procedure is as follows:
- You will be put in a reclining chair. You can donate blood while sitting or lying down.
- A small area of the arm will be disinfected. Then a sterile needle is inserted.
- Blood donation usually takes 8 to 10 minutes.
- When the necessary amount of blood has been collected, the doctor will remove the needle and bandage your hand.
Other types of donation include:
- Platelet donation.
- Plasma donation.
- Red blood cell donation.
These types of donations are performed using a process called apheresis. The apheresis apparatus is connected to both hands. It collects a small amount of blood and separates the components before returning unused components back to your body. This cycle is repeated several times over about two hours.
Once the procedure is completed, you will be given a snack and a drink, and you can rest for 10 or 15 minutes. If you feel weak or nauseous, then you can lie down until you feel better.