January is National Blood Donor Month – when was the last time you donated? According to the Red Cross, 1 blood donation can help save up to 3 lives and can take as little as 8 – 10 minutes.
The most common reasons people need blood transfusions are due to blood loss related to surgery, traumatic injuries (such as car accidents/natural disasters), and chronic illnesses (such as leukemia or kidney disease). Approximately 21 million blood components are transfused each year according to the Red Cross.
Besides the obvious benefit of helping save lives, donating blood can also help your mental health. Studies done by the Mental Health Foundation in Ireland show helping others can reduce your stress, helps get rid of negative feelings, and provides a sense of belonging. This year also comes alongside a pandemic but if you’re a COVID-19 survivor you can also help by two different types of donations according to the Red Cross: a convalescent plasma donation and a whole blood donation. This can be used to help others going through treatment and current COVID-19 patients.
Also, when you donate, you will receive a mini-physical to ensure you’re healthy enough to donate. The physical will include; blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and hematocrit level. The entire process from mini-physical, blood donation, and relaxing with a snack takes less than an hour.
So what are you waiting for? Donate Today!
Graphic by Yevhenii Dubinko on iStock