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Donate Blood: Good Cause & Good For You
Last month my school organized a blood drive. The Red Cross came to our campus where students and faculty were encouraged to donate blood. I ride my bike a little less than 5 miles to work and was curious if I could donate blood and then ride at a leisurely pace home about two hours later. I went online and started doing my research. As it turns out riding a bike soon after giving blood is not a good idea. What was more surprising to me during this research was that donating blood is good for you. Not only is it good for you to help others but there are actual health benefits from donating blood regularly.
Reduce Cancer Risk
The Miller-Keystone Blood Center says consistent blood donation is associated with lowered risks for cancers including liver, lung, colon, stomach and throat cancers.
Heart and Cardiovascular Health
Florida Blood Services reports that people who donate blood regularly have an 88% lower risk of heart attacks and a 33% lower risk of a severe cardiovascular event, such as a stroke.
Lower Iron Levels
Giving blood lowers your iron levels, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease. High blood iron levels have the potential to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease because iron accelerates the oxidation process of cholesterol in the body, which damages arteries.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center reports that when you donate blood, your body replaces the blood volume within 48 hours, and all of the red blood cells you lose during donation are completely replaced within four to eight weeks. Blood replenishment can help your body stay healthy and work more efficiently and productively.
Get a Physical
You will get a basic physical for free and find out if your blood pressure, pulse, and other vital signs are healthy.
Although it has made for a lot of good humor, you do not get money for donating blood. If you want a quick buck sell your plasma. The reason I decided to write a post about donating blood (besides encouraging people to donate on a regular basis) was to get people thinking about organizing a blood drive at work. What better way to give blood and not have to take any time off. If you wish to host a blood drive go to www.redcrossblood.org/hosting-blood-drive and find out how.
Here are some facts from The American Red Cross that might highlight the need for us to donate blood.
- Over 38,000 blood donations are needed daily and less than 38% of the population are eligible to donate.
- While one donation can save the lives of three people, a single car accident can require 100 pints of blood.