As a healthy person, your value goes far beyond the self. You have a lot to offer to society and those in need. Donating blood is one such example of how you can help others. While you might not see the benefits, those who receive it definitely do. Here are some of the reasons you should donate blood when you have the opportunity.
There’s a considerable blood shortage
According to the RedCross, someone needs blood every two seconds in the US alone. That is plenty of blood, especially when you sum up the collective consumption, which is set at 36,000 units a day. Again, this is the USA, which is recognised as being an economically and politically stable country. However, there is still a shortage of blood, with only 10% of the 38% of eligible people donating blood each year.
To make matters worse, blood has an expiry date too. This means it can only be stored for a relatively short time. Thereafter, it becomes dangerous to use and has to be disposed of. So even if you donate annually, it would be best to increase the number of times you do so.
So if you’re in the 38%, you could help a great deal of people who suffer from a variety of conditions and accidents.
Your blood type is in high demand
If your blood is type O negative, your blood is more valuable than you think. Of course, everyone’s blood is valuable, but yours can be used in blood transfusions for all other blood types. It’s like the jack-of-all-trades of blood. Sadly, only 9% of the US population have it. So when we look at the 10% who donate blood and try to factor in those who have type O, we begin to see that this blood type is very rare. However, it can save everyone’s life.
But type O donors aren’t the only people who can make a huge impact on those in need. Those who have type AB positive are also in high demand for their universal plasma. This plasma is often used in emergencies for new-borns and those who need considerable transfusions. Sadly only 3% of the population have this type of blood. You could be one of them.
However, we should say that everyone’s blood is highly valuable, so even if yours isn’t universal, it can save millions of lives. This is because your blood type is more common. Therefore, more people have it too.
Blood is used in a variety of ways
We imagine blood is used in times of accidents, where someone loses massive amounts of it. However, its daily applications go beyond that. Those suffering from anaemia, rely heavily on red blood cells donated by you. What’s more, leukaemia patients also need platelets which can treat problems they might have with their bone marrow.
Even pregnant mothers can donate a specific kind of blood that is used to treat complicated conditions. Cord blood – basically blood from the placenta and umbilical cord – has a high value of stem cells. As a result, it can be used to treat leukaemia, for example.
Donating blood can also help you
But donating blood can also help you. In fact, a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology reports that those who donate blood are 88% less likely to suffer from heart attacks. This is because donors’ blood has a lower viscosity or resistance. Repeated blood donations can increase blood flow.
What’s more, you can also enjoy a sort-of check-up for free, as the medical practitioners test your blood pressure, temperature, pulse and haemoglobin levels. Because your blood is tested before being transfused, it’s screened for diseases such as HIV and West Nile virus. Therefore, the donor agency will contact you if they notice anything irregular.
As you can see, your blood is more important than you’ll ever know. For countless people who rely on blood transfusions and other procedures, your blood can save their lives. It’s important for all of us to go and do our bit by donating regularly. Not only will it save countless lives, but it might even save your own.
Help those who need your help the most by donating blood. Visit RedCross Blood today and let your heart flow with love.