Blood donation is vital to help treat thousands of seriously ill patients across the country every day – but new donors are desperately needed. I hope this article will help persuade you to register to give blood and help save the lives of others.
- It saves lives!
The most obvious reason for donating blood is the fact that it helps save lives. Every donation can help save or improve the lives of up to three adults of six children, which is an awful lot considering that donation has come from one person. The problem is that only around 4% of the population who are eligible to donate blood are active blood donors – and with over 6000 blood donations needed each day to treat people in England, this is huge problem.
- It’s good for your health!
Studies have shown that giving blood is actually good for your health; this is because it reduces the amount of iron in the body and reduces the risk of heart diseases. As a result of this, blood donors are 88% less likely to suffer a heart attack as iron is being removed from their system while the blood is being taken out of their body, which can significantly cut the risk of heart disease.
- It doesn’t hurt
One reason why someone may be hesitant towards donating blood is the fact that needles are involved in the process. While needles look very intimidating, their bark is a lot worse than their bite! You don’t actually feel anything during the ten minutes or so that you’re sat in the chair, if anything it’s quite nice to be able to sit down and put your feet up! For anyone that has had tattoos or piercings done, you’ve experienced a hundred times worse than this in the past – not to mention the fact that the needle is being used by a nurse who has used a needle a thousand times before so you’d definitely be in safe hands.
- You only have to be seventeen to register
For the younger people out there; you can start donating blood as soon as you turn 17! There are certain things that you have to take into account when registering such as being in general good health, and weighing over 50kg but a questionnaire will be sent to you prior to your appointment which you’ll be able to fill in all the necessary information about your health. So if you are looking to donating for the first time, you need to make sure that you start either on or before your 66th birthday.
- It’s quick
You may think that donating blood is a long process but in reality it really isn’t. Donating blood is a four-step process: you register, have a look at your medical history and a mini-physical, then you go on to the actual donation, and finally there are refreshments as a thank you for your good deed. Most of the time you’re in and out in under an hour, so it isn’t an all day job!
- Some blood groups and types are desperately needed
Obviously donors are needed from all blood groups and types, but hospitals are in particularly in need of more people from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities to give blood to give blood so that there is a supply of these blood types. Also at this moment in time, people with blood group O negative or B negative in the UK are desperately needed for donations so if you have come under any of these categories it’s especially important that people like yourself get registering.
- One day it could be you
25% of people will need blood at least once during their lifetime. The list goes on and on as to why someone may need to be given blood but here is just a few examples: to treat medical conditions such as anaemia and cancer, to be used in cardiac and emergency surgery, and to treat blood loss after giving birth. As you can see, there are multiple reasons why blood is needed and at some point in your life either you or someone you know may need blood too.
- Lowers the risk of cancer
Another healthy reason to give blood is that it lowers the risk of cancer. Studies have shown that consistently donating blood is associated with lower risks of getting cancers including lung, colon, liver, stomach, and throat cancers. Not only are you helping others by donating blood, you’re also helping yourself by lowering your risk of getting cancer in the future.
- Can help you lose weight
According to a study done by the University of San Diego, approximately 650 calories can be burned by donating just one pint of blood. If you donate on a regular basis, this means you could lose a significant amount of weight. Donating blood shouldn’t be used as a weight loss tool though as you’d still have to weigh over 50kg in order to continue donating.
- Free Stuff
If the idea of helping save and improve other people’s lives isn’t enough for you then you’ll be pleased to know that you will receive free refreshments such as tea and biscuits once you have completed your donation. You’ll also receive a blood donation card and a key ring after the first donation which includes your blood group that you can show off.
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