Donating blood could help you, too

January 10, 2017 | by Jacqueline Ross, M.D.
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

What’s your gut reaction when you see signs promoting a blood drive?

Do you check your calendar to see if you have an hour to spare? Or do you hustle past as inconspicuously as possible to avoid giving blood?

If you’ve never donated blood before, you should know it’s a pretty simple, painless process – and that it offers some potential health benefits for the donor, not just the recipient.

Since 1970, we have observed National Blood Donor Month in January as a way to increase blood and platelet donations in the winter.

When it’s cold, bad weather is more likely to cancel blood drives. Flu season plays havoc with donors, as you cannot donate blood while you’re ill. Those factors combine to reduce blood storage levels.

But people still need blood, even in the winter. In fact, one person’s donation could save three lives in the hospital. Three teaspoons of blood could save a baby’s life.

In case that isn’t motivation enough, donating blood offers some personal benefits for the donor.

First, you get a mini check-up before you give, including having your blood pressure and pulse taken. If there’s a problem with your blood, you’ll find out, which could alert you to potential health problems.

Giving blood could also reduce your risk for a heart attack.

Just the act of donating can improve your wellness! Helping others (for the right reasons) has a positive effect on your health.

The donation itself doesn’t take long. Afterward, you can relax and refuel with some snacks.

Want to know more details on what to expect? Heartland Blood Centers answers some frequently asked questions on its website.

So don’t let a little needle bother you. Donating blood is one of the easiest, most rewarding ways to give back.

Need a lab test? Get your lab work done on your own schedule, using our convenient online scheduling.

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