These are the health benefits of donating blood

The act of donating blood might be a quick and painless process but its impact is much greater than someone sitting in a chair and then getting a sweet treat afterwards.

When you give blood you lose red cells and the body needs to make more to replace them. There are people out there that are in dire need of blood, a vital component that every human needs to live. One person can only donate a total of 475ml of blood every 2 months, or 56 days, that gives the body sufficient time to fully replenish.

If you’re wanting to donate blood and to find the closest centre to you, click here.

A unit of blood only lasts 42 days after donation and, for this reason, it is important for blood donors to donate regularly. Donors can give blood as often as every eight weeks. Where amounts are concerned, South Africa needs around 810 000 units of blood every year and the people that need transfusions include accident victims, those with anaemia and patients undergoing surgery.

Taking all of the above into account, Gumtree lists the health benefits associated with donating blood:

Saving a life

Knowing that you’re directly contributing to saving the lives of many people can greatly improve your well-being. After donation, your blood is then separated into its red blood cells, platelets and plasma components, that will then get distributed to various local hospitals. Also, you get a sweet treat once you’re done.

It is in short supply

The Western Cape Government states that while 75% of our population are potential recipients, less than 1.5% are donors. In addition, blood can’t be artificially manufactured which makes blood donation services especially critical. To put into perspective just how vital a single donation is, it can save the lives of up to three people.

Free health check

In order to be able to donate, the donor first has to be checked for any potential health risks. Before every blood donation, the individual will have their iron (haemoglobin) level checked, as well as blood pressure and pulse rates. This ‘mini medical’ is of great benefit because it will identify any potential health risks in the process.

It burns calories

The talk of burning calories is reserved for those wanting to lose weight in the gym and eating right but it can also be done by simply sitting in a chair. A one-time blood donation can burn up to 650 calories, and this is because the body has to work hard to replenish itself. Although there are many benefits to donating blood just one time, the people who benefit from blood donations are regular donors.

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