Health Benefits and Side Effects of Blood Donation
Blood donation does not have any major side effects, but there are several benefits. Blood donation improves heart health, reduces cancer risk and burns calories.
Health Benefits of Blood Donation
Improves Cardiovascular Health- Studies have shown that an increased level of iron in the blood raises the chance of heart disease. Regular blood donation helps males in particular to reduce the amount of iron in the blood which can reduce the chance of heart attack by 88%. Also, regular blood donation can lower the risk of severe cardiovascular events like stroke by 33%.
Stimulates the Production of New Red Blood Cells- The donor's body immediately begins to replenish thelost red blood cellswithin 48 hours of blood donation. This process of replenishment can helpthe body stay healthyand work more efficiently.
Reduces the Risk of Cancer- According to study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, iron is believed to increase the free-radical damage in the body and has been linked to an increased risk of cancer and aging. According to the Miller-Keystone Blood Center, consistent blood donation is associated with a lower risk of cancers, (including liver, lung, colon, stomach and throat cancers).
Burns Calories- Blood donation helps burn about 650 calories for every pint i.e. 450 ml of blood given.
Free Blood Analysis- A blood donor receives a free prior health screening plus mini blood test. The HB level is tested, as well as blood pressure and body check is done. The donor is also screened for syphilis, HIV, hepatitis, and other diseases; and is immediately informed in strict confidentiality if any of these tests show positive results.
Side Effects of Blood Donation
There side effects of blood donation are potentially short-term, and depend on the type of product being donated, the body's tolerance to the procedure, overall health of the donor. Common side effects may include-
- Tingling in the lips and nose
These side-effects can be minimized by drinking plenty of water prior to donation, having a well-balanced meal before and after donating blood, and getting plenty of sleep on the night before blood donation.
- Donors who give blood voluntarily and for altruistic reasons have the lowest prevalence of HIV, hepatitis viruses and other blood-borne infections, as compared to people who donate for family members or in lieu of payment.
- WHO Fact sheet N°279, June 2008, Blood safety and donation