Donating blood couldn’t be more important, and facts don’t lie. Did you know someone needs blood every two seconds in the United States alone? The American Red Cross shares that an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood at any given time, yet less than 10 percent actually participate. It’s hard to believe most people have enough blood to spare and yet there’s still a shortage. Maybe if we were all educated with a few facts and understood the benefits of donating blood, it would make a difference.
The American Red Cross states that more than five million Americans require a blood transfusion every year. When you donate, you are helping patients who suffer from cancer, bleeding disorders, chronic anemia, sickle cell anemia, and other blood-related abnormalities, as well as accident victims and precious newborn babies. The next time you visit a hospital, know that one out of every seven people there need blood. According to BloodSource, a single blood donation has the potential to save as many as three lives.
Aside from the immediate need for donors, there are many theoretical personal benefits as well. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, blood donors are 88 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack since donating blood assists with blood flow. This will lessen the damage to the lining of the blood vessels, which in turn will result in fewer arterial blockages.
You’ll also receive a free blood screening every time you donate, as your blood undergoes 13 tests to check for infectious diseases. If there’s a problem, you’re notified immediately. Your iron levels will stay balanced, avoiding hemochromatosis (too much iron in the body), and you’ll experience other health benefits that have been linked to donating blood.
Doing good for others is also one way to live a longer life. A study in Health Psychology found that people who volunteered for altruistic reasons had a significantly reduced risk of mortality four years later than those who volunteered for themselves alone.
The benefits of blood donation are exponential. If you’ve donated blood before, consider going again. If you’ve never participated, it’s a quick and easy process to get screened, and the actual donation procedure is over in less than 15 minutes.
For more information, take a moment to check out our website at www.wcmagazines.com for upcoming blood drives in your community. Think about the lives you may be saving, as well as the health benefits you’ll gain.
Take the time this season to save lives – one pint at a time!