5 Surprising Reasons You Should Donate Blood

5 Surprising Reasons You Should Donate Blood

Did you know that every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion? Did you know that 5 million people in the United States will need blood this year alone? Well, January is National Blood Donation Month and we’re here to educate you about donating blood and encourage you to donate!

We all know that it’s important to donate blood. But beyond the obvious “donating blood is a good thing to do” why, exactly, is it so important and helpful? Read on to find out just how much of a difference donating blood makes and how you can go about donating!


Why You Should Donate Blood

  1. One out of three people will need blood in their lifetime. That person could be you or a person you love! Who needs blood? The most common causes for needing to receive blood are accident victims, people needing emergency surgeries or procedures, the chronically sick (like cancer patients) and even premature infants.

  2. A single blood donation can help up to three people. That’s because there are four types of transfusable products that can be taken from blood: red cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate. Usually, two or three of these are produced from one pint of donated blood. Therefore each donation can help save up to three lives.

  3. Donating blood can give you information about your own health. You’ll be given a mini-physical before you donate, so you’ll be up-to-date with all your info. You’ll learn your resting heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol, and hemoglobin levels and may even find out your iron levels too!

  4. Donating blood only takes 10 minutes! It’s a fast and easy way to help your community. Blood cannot be manufactured and the only way to collect it is from donors willing to give.

  5. It can keep you healthy! Donating blood can balance iron levels in your blood. Excess iron is actually just as common as an iron deficiency and it is not a good thing! By donating blood you can restore the balance. (Typically men are more at risk for excess iron, so tell your husbands, boyfriends and brothers to go donate blood!) And, donating blood may also help your blood flow better.

resting heartbeat, blood pressure, cholesterol and hemoglobin levels at this very moment? – See more at: http://staywellblog.walgreens.com/medicines-pharmacy/blood-donation/#sthash.9t6ljAAr.dpuf
resting heartbeat, blood pressure, cholesterol and hemoglobin levels at this very moment? – See more at: http://staywellblog.walgreens.com/medicines-pharmacy/blood-donation/#sthash.9t6ljAAr.dpuf

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Ready to Donate? Here’s what You need to Know!

Are you eligible to donate?

You must meet the following requirements to donate blood:

  • You must be in good general health
  • You must be at least 17 years of age in most states (or 16-years-old with parental consent if allowed by state law)
  • Weigh at least 110 lbs

Before you donate

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Wear something comfortable. Be sure your sleeves can be easily rolled up!
  • If possible, include iron rich foods in your diet in the week or two leading up to your donation
  • If you’re taking medication, be sure to bring a list of what you’re taking
  • Bring identification

What to expect when you donate

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Donating blood is a four step process:

  1. Registration — First you’ll sign in, and the eligibility and donation processes will be reviewed with you.  Then your ID will be checked.
  2. Mini-Physical — Next you’ll be asked some questions about your health history. (This part is private and all information is kept confidential.) Then you’ll be give a min-physical which includes checking your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and hemoglobin level present in your blood.
  3. Donation — While sitting down your arm will be cleansed and then you’ll donate blood. The actual donation takes about 10 minutes. You’ll donate one pint of blood.
  4. Refreshments — After your donation, it’s a good idea to have a snack and something to drink, which are usually provided by the donation center.

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p style=”text-align: center;”>Congratulate yourself for helping save lives!

Interested in donating blood?  The American Red Cross frequently holds blood drives. Click here and find a blood drive near you.

This post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace medical advice from your physician, doctor or health care professional. Please read our terms of use for more information.

Photo Credits: Tom (CC),   Laura Gilmore (CC modified)

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Krista

Krista lives in New York with her husband, their 4 year old daughter and 1 year old son. She teaches English at a local college and loves to read, shop, and cook. She enjoys blogging about motherhood at The Quinntessential Mommy. You can contact her via email, twitter or visit her blog.

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