And there you have it! Pictures of my blood donation earlier this week together with the colleagues! We try to go at least once a year together (this would be the 3rd time we did so together). One of my colleagues, whom I call Uncle Siong Chu- did his 41st blood donation this time! How awe inspiring! It was my 6th time and guess what? I received a medal for donating 5 times!
I started donating when I was 19 in polytechnic during one of those drives and it somehow stuck on me. Which is pretty ironic because i am…….terrified of needles. Trust my luck this time to be that bad to be sitting in the chair next to Brian while he went, “Ohhhhh *ouch sounds*” and “It’s going in!!! The needle is going in!!!” My hands were all sweaty from the anxiety I experienced (bullies, big bullies *Cries*).
Aside from the fact that they really need blood for medical purposes and to save lives, did you know that donating blood actually benefits us?
1. The Joy of Saving Human Lives
It is such a wonderful feeling being able to help doctors save human lives. There are no perfect substitutes for human blood. The blood you donate is divided into various components according to the needs of patients. Each component can be used by different recipients for various purposes. Many newborn babies may benefit from a single blood donor as their blood requirements are smaller. Every time you donate blood, you can help up to 3 or 4 individual recipients. Be a hero by donating blood.
2. Free Health Check-up
You can donate blood only if you are fit enough to do so. Before every blood donation process, a series of health check-ups are performed on the donor totally free of cost. This will be of great benefit to you. For example, you will come to know of any blood pressure abnormalities. That will help diagnose some of the indolent diseases at the early stage before they get flared up and present with multiple medical problems. Further, after the blood is donated, the blood and blood products that are derived from them are screened for certain infections. You can choose to be informed if they find any abnormality in those screening tests. Frequent blood donations are good free health check-ups that will help you stay healthy. Here is an interesting story of how blood donation saved a grandmother’s life.
3. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
Regular blood donations help to keep the levels of iron in the body in check, especially in males. This has shown to reduce heart disease. Though iron is an essential element for the proper functioning of the body, excessive iron build up can result in excessive oxidative damage. Oxidative damage is the major culprit implicated in accelerated ageing, heart attacks, strokes etc. You can read more of the scientific information on the American Journal of Epidemiology.
4. Burns Calories
One time blood donation helps you shed 650 Kcal. This can aid you in your body weight control measures. However, blood can be donated safely once in two or three months and not more frequently. This will depend on your health status and your blood hemoglobin and iron levels.
5. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
High levels of iron have been implicated in cancer. Theoretically, donating blood frequently will reduce the risk of cancers. More research is going on to find strong evidence on this one. However, the old myth that blood donations may lead to cancer has been put to the grave.
So what are you guys waiting for? Give a call, make an appointment and help save lives! Leave any questions you might have in this post and I’ll try to answer them as much as possible!