World Blood Donor Day 2024: Surprising Health Benefits Of Donating Blood

Donating blood is not just a noble cause, but also has numerous health benefits. It reduces the risk of heart attacks by lowering iron levels, enhances heart health, and boosts blood flow. Here are a few surprising reasons why you should be donating blood.
World Blood Donor Day 2024

With current shortages leading to delays in transfusions, blood donors are needed now more than ever

World Blood Donor Day 2024: Every time you donate blood it saves lives. According to statistics, every two seconds, someone across the world requires a blood transfusion. However, earlier this year, the Red Cross announced that it was facing an emergency blood shortage as it experienced the lowest number of people giving blood in the last two decades.
According to WHO, India needed 60 million units of blood in 2017, but only half of that amount was available. “During critical situations, many blood banks in India struggle to provide sufficient blood. It is estimated that if just 1 per cent of the population, in addition to current donors, voluntarily donated blood, the demand-supply deficit could be eliminated,” Dr. Meet Kumar, Clinical Director, Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant, Marengo Asia Hospitals told Times Now.

Health benefits of blood donation

Experts say with current shortages leading to delays in transfusions, blood donors are needed now more than ever. There are several benefits and upsides of donating blood, a few of which include:

Reduces the risk of heart attacks

According to experts, regularly donating blood can help keep your heart healthy and functional because when you give blood, iron keeps on getting removed from your system – signifying a lower the risk of heart disease.
Blood donation also helps boost circulation, making it less damaging to vessels.

Regulates immunity levels

Donating blood boosts your immunity by rejuvenating the entire system. According to experts, every time you donate blood, the red blood cells can recycle themselves, promoting the production of newer and healthier red blood cells.

Reduces the risk of cancer

Doctors say regular blood donation is linked to lowering the rates of cancer. Certain types of cancers such as colon, liver, lung, esophagus, and stomach can also be prevented through blood donation.

Helps in weight loss

Donating blood also helps in fat burning, thereby you can lose weight as well. According to experts, a single blood donation can help you shed around 650 calories - equivalent to jumping rope for 50 minutes.

Who can donate blood?

To be eligible to donate blood, an individual must be healthy and free from chronic or blood-related ailments. Regular blood screenings can confirm a person's eligibility to donate. “For a healthy individual, doctors typically recommend routine blood tests at least once a year. Regular health screenings help monitor wellness and bodily changes over time, allowing for timely treatment to prevent chronic conditions,” said Dr. Kumar.
It is the donor's primary responsibility to ensure the quality of the blood they donate. If you are 18 years or older, weigh over 45 kg, and are free from infectious or chronic diseases, you are eligible to donate blood. However, if you have high blood pressure, or are pregnant and menstruating, you would not be permitted to donate.

Who should not donate blood?

Many people may not be permitted to donate if they have diseases that could be transmitted through blood. If you are suffering from conditions like being HIV positive, have a blood clotting disorder, any heart problem, or have undergone recent cardiac surgery, you must not even try. Others who should not donate blood include those who recently got a tattoo, received blood or blood components, underwent chemotherapy or radiation for cancer, are suffering from anemia, recently had malaria, dengue, or chikungunya, or are intravenous drug users.

Precautions to take before donating blood

People donating blood should ensure a well-eaten meal, especially intake of food high in iron such as spinach, fish, meat, poultry, and beans. Extra water intake and fluids will further matter in blood donation. Avoiding caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee is recommended.
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