Blood donation is a gift you give yourself as much as others. It is a simple, safe and healthy contribution for a reliable blood supply to support your community. World Blood Donor day is organized by World Health Organization (WHO) on 14th June every year to raise awareness on this issue. It is also an attempt to encourage more people to donate blood voluntarily and regularly.
- A single unit of blood can help save the lives of three people.
- Only 62 countries have national blood supplies based on 100% voluntary unpaid blood donations.
Why should you donate blood?
- Blood cannot be manufactured, and there is no substitute for human blood.
- Currently, only one-tenth of our country’s blood requirement is met through donation.
- Sickle cell patients require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.
- A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood.
Benefits of donation
Red blood cell (RBC) production is boosted: It blood reduces the number of RBCs in the blood. The bone marrow immediately replenishes the lost cells; as a result your blood is refreshed every time you donate.
You get a free health screening: Every time you give blood, your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, cholesterol and hemoglobin levels are checked. Also, you get to know your blood type if you didn’t know it already.
Risk of heart disease is reduced: You remove 225 to 250 mg of iron from your system, thus cutting your risk of heart disease. Menopausal women also can reduce their risk of heart disease as they are incapable of losing iron every month through menstruation.
You feel amazing: It is an act of kindness which is incomparable, especially when you realize that one hour of your time and 475 ml of blood has saved lives.
Some tips for an efficient donation
If it is your first time, go prepared. Here are a few pointers:
- Get good sleep before your donation.
- Eat a healthy meal.
- Wear clothes that can be raised above your elbows.
- Relax by listening to music or talking to other donors during the process.
- Take 4 extra glasses of liquids and avoid alcohol for 24 hours after the donation.
- After the process, remove the wrap bandage within the next hour but keep the strip bandage on for the next few hours.
- Avoid performing any strenuous activity for at least 24 hours.
Did you know?
Blood donors are 88% less likely to suffer a heart attack and 33% less likely to suffer any type of cardiovascular event.
1. World Health Organization. Accessed May 18, 2015.
2. American Red Cross. Accessed May 28, 2015.
3. Blood Centers of the Pacific. Accessed May 27, 2015.
4. Nebraska Community Blood Blank. Accessed May 8, 2015.