Donating Blood Has Benefits For Your Physical And Mental Health As Well As Helping Others
You or a loved one may have been the recipient of a life-saving blood transfusion. Pegasus home care specialists in Toluca Lake and elsewhere know the importance of blood drives. Are you aware of how donating blood benefits you?
Donated blood saves lives. The Red Cross provides about 40% of blood available in the US. They need more than 13,000 donors every day to meet the needs of injured and ill people.
You Can Give Whole Blood Or Parts Of It
There is more than one type of blood donation. Each has guidelines as to who can donate and how often blood can be drawn. These include:
- Whole blood – this is the blood that is flowing through your body. It consists of red and white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Donors must be at least 17 years old and in good health, You can donate every 56 days.
- Power red – this starts with whole blood, then the red cells are separated out, and the rest of the blood returned to your body. It allows twice the amount to be withdrawn at one time. Women must be at least 19 years old, and men must be at least 17 years old. Both must be in good health and can donate every 112 days.
- Platelets – blood is withdrawn from one arm, and the platelets extracted in a process that takes longer than other types of donations. The blood then flows back into the opposite arm. Individuals must be of age and in good health. They may donate up to 24 times a year.
- AB Elite Plasma – the plasma is extracted from the blood, which is then returned. AB blood can be used for transfusions in patients with any blood type. You can donate every 28 days.
Except for power red donors, individuals must weigh at least 110 pounds. Female power red donors be at least 5’5” tall and weigh 150 pounds. Male power red donors must be at least 5’1” tall and weigh 130 pounds.
If you have a temporary health problem, such as a cold, you can donate as soon as you recover. Some medications mean that you can’t give blood until a specified time has passed since your last dose. Travel to certain countries may mean postponing your donation for a year or more.
Donating Blood Makes You Feel Good Mentally And Physically
Medical science has not yet invented a safe way to manufacture blood. Blood donations are the only source. Knowing that they are helping to save someone’s life is one of the biggest reasons donors give blood.
Donating blood is one of the many proofs that it is better to give than to receive. Giving of yourself has significant emotional and psychological benefits. You are not only taking time out of your life, and you are giving up something that’s an essential part of being alive.
Along with a warm, fuzzy feeling about doing good when you donate blood, you also:
- Reduce your stress – after your donation, you’re permitted to recline and rest, guilt-free, for as long as you need to.
- Feel connected – you’re interacting with others in a common cause.
- Improve your physical health
Regardless of anything else going on in your life, donating blood gives you a sense of pride in yourself.
Your Health Is Checked Without Charge
Blood donors undergo a free mini-health exam every time they give. The technicians check your vitals, such as blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and cholesterol, among others. Readings outside normal ranges can detect underlying health problems.
Your blood is also tested for infectious diseases that could preclude donating. Your iron levels are also checked. An iron deficiency means blood can’t be drawn at that time.
Conversely, excessive iron levels, a condition is known as hemochromatosis, make you a good candidate for donating blood. Hemochromatosis treatment involves removing blood on a regular basis. There’s also a connection between reducing iron levels and decreased risk of cancer.
Because excessive iron is stored in the blood, reduced levels also help your heart and liver function better. That improves your cardiovascular health. Donating also stimulates the manufacture of new blood cells, and that improves your overall health.
Donating blood is certainly not a weight loss plan. However, you do lose approximately 650 calories every time you give a pint. There’s also evidence that donating can reduce the viscosity of blood, which improves how it flows and reduces potential blockages.
You can download an infographic that summarizes blood donation facts. It’s useful in discussing the benefits of donating with family members. Your senior loved one might want to bank blood in advance of surgery or other treatments.
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. Our home care services in Toluca Lake and our other locations are designed to provide all levels of assistance. We’re always here to meet the needs of you and your senior loved one.