Donating blood can not only save lives of those who are in a desperate need but can also save your own life as it could reduce the levels of iron in the body and lower the risk of heart diseases.
"Excessive iron is believed to contribute to heart disease and donating blood reduces the iron stores in the body," Ivan Pacold, from Loyola University Health System's Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, said.
"Plus you get a mini-assessment each time you give blood to reinforce wellness."
"Blood can only be obtained through human donation; there is no synthetic substitute for blood.
"One pint of blood can help up to three people in need; four if you include the donor," Pacold said.
An American Medical Association study reports that giving blood every six months led to fewer heart attacks and strokes in participants ages 43 to 61. Each donor has their temperature taken, pulse checked, blood pressure and blood count measured.
Nurses, technicians, phlebotomists, physicians and more who care for patients around-the-clock at Loyola University Health System also voluntarily donate their own blood to help those in need through regular on-campus blood drives.
Illinois legislation allows individuals who got a tattoo after Jan. 1, 2010 to skip the previously enforced 12-month waiting period before donating blood as long as they got a tattoo at a business inspected by the Illinois Department of Public Health.