The American Red Cross reported that 3% of Americans donate blood on a regular basis. People donating blood do this voluntarily, and there’s no financial reimbursement associated with it. Blood donors go through a variety of interviews and heavy screenings. Donors must be 18 years old and must have 110 pounds of weight or greater. Donated blood is stored at blood banks, and its supply varies depending on need. While blood donation is beneficial, there are pros and cons that you need to know as a blood donor.
The Pros of Donating Blood
Blood donation is a voluntary act that all healthy adults can take part in. Donated blood is distributed to those in need of it, including people that suffer from severe loss of blood and people who have undergone extreme medical procedures.
Blood is renewable. It renews itself within the body, so the donated blood will not be a loss by the body. Donation time is approximately 45 minutes or less, and a person can donate blood every 56 days.
Several or almost all blood donation centers offer free gifts to those people donating their blood. Freebies range from free coupons to free t-shirts.
Blood donation has several health benefits. It reduces blood cholesterol level and sheds extras calories. The number of blood cells within the body decreases after blood donation. This stimulates the bone marrow to produce new and fresh blood cells to replace the lost cells.
The Cons of Blood Donation
The insertion of needle into the veins can be painful. While some people find the needle poke unpleasant, others have a strong fear ofneedles. Others are even afraid to see blood.
A person may faint or feel dizzy after donating blood, but these symptoms are quite common. These feelings disappear quickly after the body makes more blood. Almost all blood donation centers have free snacks and juice to help the donor boost energy levels.
Parents donate their own blood for their child that is having a surgical operation. They do this to prevent their child from receiving anonymous blood, if it is required. However, both direct blood and anonymous blood donors undergo series of screenings through the same process to identify if one is much safer than the other. The amount of paperwork that is required by anonymous blood donation is lesser than direct blood donation.
The entire process of blood donation involves a series of free medical checkups for the donor. The donor’s hemoglobin is tested before he/she can donate blood. Additionally, the donor is not permitted to donate blood if his/her hemoglobin level is less than 12.5 g/dL. The donor can become anemic if he/she losses more blood. Aside from the hemoglobin level, the donor’s body weight and blood pressure are checked. To top it all, the donor’s blood is tested for diseases that can be transmitted through blood, including malaria, HIV/AIDS, syphilis, and hepatitis B and C. Donors carrying these diseases are not accepted to donate their blood.