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Why should I donate blood?

Hospitals across the country urgently need blood to fulfill the needs of trauma victims, people with cancer and others who require surgical intervention. If you’re already in the habit of giving blood on a regular basis, consider becoming even more involved to help out your community. For example, you might encourage your friends and family members to give blood or you might volunteer at a local blood drive. Donating blood has a number of benefits:
  • Personal fulfillment. The primary benefit of donating blood is knowing that you’ve helped to save a life. In fact, each blood donation can serve up to three people in hospital. Many people donate blood because of the sense of personal fulfillment they gain from giving back to their community.
  • Health checkup. You might be surprised that you can gain real health benefits from donating blood. Each blood donor is given a mini checkup. You’ll have your pulse, body temperature, blood pressure and hemoglobin levels checked, and you’ll be alerted to any abnormalities. This is one more way you can keep track of your overall health.
  • Iron regulation. Many people consume more iron than they need. This can pose a health concern because excessive iron levels can contribute to the formation of free radicals. Free radicals interfere with normal cell function and increase your risk of problems such as cancer and heart disease. When you donate blood, your iron levels drop slightly.
When you give blood you could help save lives. If enough people give blood regularly, there will always be an adequate supply for the sick or injured. If not enough blood is given, there will be shortages, and people who need blood may have to go without it, which could result in needless illness and death. Each time you donate, your temperature, pulse, and blood pressure are taken and more than ten blood tests are done. Irregularities in any test are reported to you. To meet our nation’s need, the American Red Cross must collect over six million blood donations each year. To find out where you can give blood through the Red Cross at a location close to you, please visit redcrossblood.org, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
In short, you should donate blood to help others. Generally, donated blood serves as a treatment for other people. Blood products can help treat people for a wide variety of problems. Sometimes, the only available treatment option is blood. A donor's blood truly can be a lifesaver.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.