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Why one should donate blood?

On » Thursday, March 3, 2011 //

Trypanophobia - is the extreme fear of medical procedures involving injections or hypodermic needles. And it is one of the main reason why many people, though willing to take part in blood donation drives, don't gather enough courage to do so. Blood Donation is essentially a voluntary act where one allows one's blood to be taken out from his/her body for any medical purpose. It is widely promoted by the Red Cross. There are various blood donation centers in almost all the cities in India. There are many types of blood donation, as whole blood donation, blood plasma donation, etc. When I asked many of my friends and relatives about their views on blood donation, I came across many misconceptions and myths that are prevalent in the society about the procedure and it's benefits or side-effects. So here I am writing this post to help you understand that there are many benefits of blood donation as compared to an almost blank list of disadvantages of doing so.
(Courtesy: Internet)

Being Altruistic : It goes without saying, that the most important benefit of blood donation is the most satisfying feeling of being a reason for saving someones life, in most of the cases you are unaware of who the person is. And this feeling cannot be described unless and until you yourself experience it. Did you know that only 3 teaspoons of blood can save a life of a premature baby in blood crisis?

Free Health check-up : Every time you donate blood, you get to undergo a free health screening! You are subjected to a basic health check up where a doctor, a nurse and a lab technician wont charge you for getting your vitals checked. Your hemoglobin level is also tested. If it is low, then you will not be allowed to donate blood. Besides hemoglobin, your blood pressure, blood group and body weight will also be checked. In addition, your blood will also be subjected to screening for  the presence of five diseases, namely Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, HIV/AIDS and Malaria. If you are not suffering from these diseases, only then you will be allowed to donate your blood.

Iron overloading: Blood donation is one of the most easiest way to get rid of the excess iron accumulated in our body due to over consumption. Excess of iron is not good for health as it is responsible for formation of free radicals which cause damage to the body cells and tissues and are also related to various heart diseases and cancers. Iron oxidizes cholesterol which in turn causes atherosclerotic changes in the blood vessels. Iron overload is also seen in Hemochromatosis which is a genetic disease due to defective iron metabolism causing serious damage to pancreas, adrenal glands, indirectly resulting in diabetes, liver disorders, etc. Thus donating blood on a regular basis will help one to regulate the iron levels in one's circulation, especially in young males, thereby decreasing the risk of heart diseases.

Calories : It is said that one pint of blood which may be around (350-400 ml which is only 7.5% of your total blood volume) on an average burns 650 calories!

Press F5 to refresh : Once you donate blood, the blood cell count in your body decreases. This stimulates your bone marrow to produce new red blood cells so as to replenish the loss. Indirectly, this stimulates the production of new blood cells and thus it refreshes your circulation.

When talking about the disadvantages, the list is almost blank except for the fact that sometimes your blood pressure may drop temporarily or you may experience nausea or dizziness for a few seconds. But at the end the feeling of saving one's life and the free health benefits that come along with it, should certainly motivate one to plan a visit to a blood donation drive, once you end reading this post. Try it once, I assure you... it feels good!

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