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January is National Blood Donor Month and in honor, we encourage all of those in good health to give blood regularly in order to help save lives! Every year, thousands of people rely on donated blood to stay alive yet only 10 percent of the 37 percent of Americans eligible to donate blood do so annually. Consequently, in the winter months, these numbers are even more scarce due to illness, extreme weather, and holidays. Though healthy citizens should do everything they can to donate year-round, it’s key now more than ever to encourage everyone to do their part.

How Donating Helps

The American Red Cross estimates that one pint of blood can save up to three lives. Units of blood are generally separated into four different components: cells, platelets, plasma, and AHF. Plasma, the liquid part of the blood, is provided to those with clotting problems while red blood cells are extracted for surgical and trauma patients. Likewise, platelets, which clot the blood, are used for cancer and transplant patients. Finally, AHF is also used for clotting factors.

Still, donating blood doesn’t just benefit the recipients, but donors as well!

Benefits of Donating Blood

Donating blood is great for your body. It can help you reduce your risk of hemochromatosis and some cancers! Simultaneously, regular donation can aid in weight loss and lower stress levels. The Mental Health Foundation also found that donating blood can do wonders for your mental health! Blood donation reduces feelings of. Donating blood provides a sense of belonging and improves one’s emotional well-being!

Side Effects

Blood donation is completely safe. Each donor receives new, sterile equipment, so you will not contract any diseases. However, some people can experience nausea, lightheadedness, or dizziness after donating. These symptoms should last just a few minutes and dissipate shortly after resting and eating. Additionally, you may experience bleeding or bruising at the site of the needle.
Do not hesitate to call the blood donation center if:

  • You still feel lightheaded, nauseous, or dizzy after resting or eating
  • The area continues bleeding at the needle site or develops a bump
  • You experience ave numbness, tingling, or pain

National Blood Donor Month

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. Hence why it’s so important that healthy adults donate blood whenever possible. You MUST be 17 years and older to donate blood, and you can donate every 8 weeks! Need a ride to a local blood donation center? Contact ABBA Medical Transportation!