Every blood donor saves the live(s) of 1-3 patients. But for some non-remunerated blood donors, there are those who donate blood mainly to save a patient’s life, and those who while saving a patient’s life may have an interest in the blood donation benefits for the donor.
If you are looking out for the non-monetary benefits of blood donation, then this post is for you. You will be discovering mainly the health benefits of blood donation and the psychological benefits of blood donation with many other advantages.
Most of the facts below are verifiable while some are based on deduction.
- So What are the Blood Donation Benefits for the Donor?
- I. Saving Lives! The Main Benefit of Blood Donation
- I. The Health Benefits of Blood Donation
- II. Free Health Checks
- III. Psychological Benefits of Donating Blood
- IV. Benefits From Autologous Blood Donation
- V. Other Benefits of Blood Donation
So What are the Blood Donation Benefits for the Donor?
I. Saving Lives! The Main Benefit of Blood Donation
Have you ever been opportune to save the life of a friend, family member or loved one, or even a stranger? The sense of fulfillment that comes from it is something worth experiencing. So the main purpose or the ultimate benefit of blood donation is to save lives. But this time, not just that of your loved ones, but even strangers who may not even get to thank you later.
I. The Health Benefits of Blood Donation
Since the year 2013, lots of research work have been going on by health experts to find the relationship between blood donation and predisposition to suffering from certain illnesses.
The following are the health benefits of donating blood:
1. Reduces the Risk of Hemochromatosis
This is the the basic principle from which most other health benefits of blood donation are derived from.
Hemochromatosis is also known as iron overload and happens when a person has excess iron in the body causing it to deposit in various important organs of the body like the liver, heart, etc, and causing serious health concerns.
What is the link Between Blood donation and Decreased Risk of Hemochromatosis?
As you may have heard, hemoglobin which is the major component of red blood cells has a high iron content. So donating blood means getting rid of excess iron loads from the body thereby reducing the risk of having hemochromatosis.
2. Could Save You From Developing Cancer
Another advantage of blood donation is that it helps in reducing the chances of survival for cancer cells in the body. Cancer cells feed on our iron stores, and reducing the iron level in the body would mean reducing their chances of survival.
So just as regular blood donation helps in preventing hemochromatosis above, it also helps to prevent the growth of cancer cells in our body.
3. It Could Protect You From Diseases of the Heart and Liver
This follows the same principle of reduced iron overload. Like in hemochromatosis, excess iron deposits in vital organs in our body including our liver, heart, and pancreas. This will cause what is known as liver cirrhosis in the liver, multiple organ damage, and failure with serious health concerns.
4. Increases Production of New Blood Cells
This is one paradox about blood donation. One may ask; how does removing blood from your body increase it’s production?
The answer is simple…
Just as nature abhors vacuum, our body always tries to maintain a balance. This is based on the principle of homeostasis.
So once your body notices that there is a decrease in the quantity of blood, it stimulates the blood production centers in the body to produce more new and fresh blood.
5. Could You Lose Weight By Donating Blood?
A lot of studies have linked weight loss to frequent blood donation. This makes weight loss to be among the health benefits of blood donation.
II. Free Health Checks
Although is a bit controversial because of the stigma associated with certain sexually transmitted diseases in some parts of the world, but it is still considered one of the benefits of donating blood.
Keeping up to date with your health status without paying a dime has been so easy because of the routine checks for one’s eligibility for blood donation. These health checks include both the minutest o the advanced checks for eligibility.
1. Basic health Checks
- Pulse rate
- Blood pressure
- Body temperature
- Body weight and Height (Body mass index)
- Hemoglobin levels
2. Disease Screening
- Human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV/AIDS)
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- West Nile Virus
- Trypanosoma cruzi
- Malaria (In some places and in certain conditions)
You get tested for all these diseases and you get an overview of your health status from the basic screening plus free counseling 3 times a year depending on how often you donate blood. This is something a lot of people pay hundreds for.
III. Psychological Benefits of Donating Blood
This is based on the fact that it feels good to help people. A lot of people are looking for ways of getting rid of guilt probably from their old ways of living or from something they may have done wrong.
Donating blood is a form of charity, and for those who may not have enough money to give to charity and funding schemes, blood donation is a great place to start from.
Below are some of the psychological benefits of donating blood:
- Blood donation helps in dealing with stress
- It promotes your emotional well-being and makes you happy
- It helps you have a fulfilling sense of living
- It helps you reduce feeling of guilt and other negative emotions
- It makes you to feel among and reduces loneliness
- It increases the bond and love between the donor and the recipient (Assuming they are friends or relatives)
And many more!
Also, Read; Blood donation myths and facts
IV. Benefits From Autologous Blood Donation
Autologous blood donation is a condition whereby someone (probably with a rare blood type like AB negative, B negative, or O negative based on the blood donation charts) voluntarily saves up blood for him/herself in case they get sick in the future. This is also referred to as blood donation to self.
This is because it is usually difficult to find people with such rare blood types. So this can be considered a benefit of self-blood donation.
V. Other Benefits of Blood Donation
Apart from the benefits to the donor and the recipient, there are other benefits of blood donating blood which are very important in promoting health care, and they include:
1. For Research Purposes
Although this might be laden with some ethical concerns, but it is good that we note it is a very vital advantage of blood donation.
For instance, within the Covid-19 pandemic, many patients who recovered from the virus willingly allowed their serum to be used for tests to see if antibodies against the virus could be used in treating other patients.
This is also important in the development of vaccines against micro-organisms which are the major culprits of various global pandemics.
So research is a good reason to donate blood as it is one of the best ways of saving our planet.
2. Incentives from Organizations or Bodies Championing Blood Donation Drives
Giving Incentives is a creative way of encouraging voluntary blood donors. Associations like the American Association of the Red Cross have always encouraged blood donation by giving incentives to voluntary non-remunerated blood donors.
Such incentives, though look cheap, but they are still something that makes a lot of people feel among. They could come in form of:
- Customized T-shirts and polos
- Hand bands
- Awards of honor for veteran blood donors
- Free snacks
- Juice, soda, etc.
Being charitable could be as straightforward as donating blood. Health blood donation should benefit both the donor and the recipient, and it also feels nice having something to give back to the community you live in.
Want to save a life today? Find a nearby health center and donate blood
Just a moment before you leave, kindly share your response to this poll/discussion about the benefits of blood donation.
What Motivated you to donate blood the last time you did?