Donating blood is an important way to give back to your community. If you take the time to donate your blood, you can help save a life. In fact, the American Red Cross estimates that about three lives can be saved when you donate blood. Blood is in constant need. Within the United States blood is needed around every two seconds, which is why it is important to continuously donate.
The following article will address blood donation and how it can be both advantageous and disadvantageous.
Advantages of Donating Blood
Donating blood is not only beneficial to recipients, but it also has several advantages for the donator. Below we will examine the several ways blood donations can help reduce your blood pressure, benefit your overall physical health, and help improve your mental health.
Reduce Blood Pressure
Donating blood has been found to help reduce blood pressure. Additionally, donating blood has been found to help lower the risk of heart disease and heart attacks if you continuously making blood donations. There are lower levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in donators, which protects against cardiovascular disease.
When you go to donate your blood you are required to go through a health screening. A health professional reviews things like your blood pressure, body temperature, hemoglobin levels, and pulse. They will also need to test your blood for any diseases. This is a free health checkup, which can help you manage your physical health more efficiently.
Donating blood can help improve your overall mental well-being. By acting selflessly and donating blood to help save a life you can feel a sense of belonging and purpose. It can help reduce negative feelings and make you feel less isolated.
Disadvantages of Donating Blood
First, let us start by discussing the disadvantages of donating blood. Donating is a safe process and involves a trusted procedure. Blood donation has more advantages than disadvantages, but for this article, we are going to examine the few reasons why donating blood can be difficult for some people. Blood donation can be time-consuming and can take up to at least an hour for the entire process. However, the actual blood donation happens within ten minutes. Also, the process of donating blood can leave you with bruising, pain, weakness, continued bleeding, or dizziness and nausea. Below we will go into detail about these disadvantages.
It is quite common to experience bruising when you donate blood. When the needle is inserted into one of your veins to collect blood it tends to leave the area a little bruised. Bruises vary in color and size. Yellow, blue, or even purple bruises are nothing to worry about. In fact, you should not be at all concerned if you get bruises after donating blood. You can easily treat the bruises by placing an ice pack on the bruised area.
Pain may arise when the needle is inserted into your arm. The process of taking blood is not painful, but the needle can cause discomfort for some people. It is also possible to feel a bit sore after donating blood, especially if you experience bruising.
After donating blood it is possible to feel weak. Your arm is more likely to experience weakness because that is the site where blood is drawn. It is important to not exercise or do any intense physical activity for a few hours after you donate blood.
If you experience continued bleeding after removing the needle, put pressure on the site that is bleeding. Then, keep your arm above your heart for a few minutes before releasing the pressure. The pressure should slow down the bleeding. This is why you are told to keep the bandage and dressing around your arm for a few hours so that way the bleeding will stop. However, if you notice that your bleeding does not stop after applying pressure, you will need to speak to your doctor.
Dizziness and Nausea
Once completing your blood donation, you need to sit in an observation area for about fifteen minutes. During this time, you can drink water or juice, rest, and eat a small snack. This allows your body to recuperate and helps prevent any dizziness, lightheadedness, or nausea. Mild versions of dizziness, lightheadedness, or nausea can still occur. If you experience these side effects long after blood donation, call and speak to your blood donation center.
If you are interested in donating your blood, contact your local blood donation center to find out the requirements for blood donations.
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