Here’s Why You Should Donate Blood
Ever watch The Avengers and think, ‘Damn, it would be so great to be a superhero’? Well, what if we told you that you could save three lives and you don’t even have to wear a cape while doing it (or you could, your choice). It’s World Blood Donation on Thursday, a day to raise awareness of the need to regularly donate blood.
Blood donation is a great way to help your fellow man, it’s free and you can do it all in your lunch time. But sadly, less than 1% of South Africans are blood donors, which often leaves our blood supplies running low. Perhaps many of us don’t know the great reason why we should donate blood, or we’re unsure of how it works.
How it works
You’ll be asked to fill in a questionnaire to assess your lifestyle and health. This ensures you are well enough to donate blood and that your blood won’t be a risk to anyone. This is followed by a one-on-one interview with a nurse, who will then go over the questionnaire and do a blood pressure and haemoglobin level test.
If you meet all the criteria, it’s blood donation time. Once you’re comfortable, a sterile needle will be inserted in your arm which will collect the blood into a blood bag. The entire process should take about 30-45 minutes. Virtually painless, super convenient, and if the fact you just became a real life superhero wasn’t enough – you get a biscuit and juice after your donation!
Why you should donate blood
We’ve determined that blood donation is nothing to be scared of, here’s how your donation can help:
Blood transfusions for the following people:
- Children with severe anaemia
- Women who haemorrhage during or after giving birth
- People that have been through severe physical trauma
- Cancer patients
How it helps you
Improved heart health
The theory behind this is that because you’ll be donating often, you are able to regulate the amount of iron in your blood. An increased level of iron in your blood raises your chance of heart disease. So by donating, you lower your risk by 88%.
Enhanced production of new blood cells
After blood donation, your body immediately starts to replenish lost blood. This allows for the production of new blood cells, helping your body stay healthy and work more efficiently.
Yep, the average donation (500ml) burns over 2000 kilojoules!
Feel like the hero you are
Blood donation is such a valuable act of service that not only helps the person receiving the blood, but those that depend on them too. You’ll feel great knowing that during just one hour of your day, you were able to save the lives. Now, if that doesn’t warrant you hero status, we don’t know what does.
If you would like to become a blood donor, visit the South African National Blood Service to find your nearest donation centre.