RRMC Health Talk: January is National Blood Donor Month | Weekend magazine

When was the last time you donated blood? If it’s been a while, or if you’ve never donated blood before, now is a great time to do it. Here are 10 good reasons to donate:

You help others. Donating blood is one of the most selfless things you can do. Your donated blood can potentially help save up to three lives, according to the American Red Cross.

You are part of a select minority. Less than 38% of the population is eligible to donate blood or platelets, so if you are one of them, consider yourself among the chosen few.

You benefit from a free health check. Before donating blood, a nurse will check your blood pressure, pulse, temperature and hemoglobin level. Your blood may also be checked for HIV, hepatitis, and other illnesses. It’s like doing a mini check-up just to do something right!

It burns calories. You can’t replace your regular sweating session with donating blood, but you can burn around 650 calories by giving a pint of blood.

Your body will produce new blood. Think of it as a tune-up for your body. When you donate blood, you generate new blood. It takes about 24 hours to replace the plasma and four to six weeks to replace the red blood cells in your donation.

It can improve your heart health. Donating blood temporarily reduces the iron in your blood. High levels of iron can increase the risk of heart disease in men. One study showed that men who donated blood at least once a year had an 88% lower risk of heart attack than men who were not donors.

It promotes well-being. Yours, that is to say! Donating blood can make you feel good about yourself, reduce stress, and improve your emotional health.

It only takes an hour. The blood donation process is quick and easy. You will probably be there for about an hour, although it will only take about 10 minutes to donate blood.

It doesn’t really hurt. You may feel a slight sting when the needle is inserted into your arm, but the process is relatively painless. And when you consider the benefits it provides, the little discomfort is well worth it.

You might need a blood donation someday. It is estimated that around 25% of people will need blood at least once in their lifetime. While there is no direct correlation between donating blood and receiving it, you might someday be as grateful as someone else is for the donation.

According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. Donated blood is used for accident victims, as well as cancer, organ transplant and surgery patients. People with chronic illnesses also need blood. Donating blood helps people of all ages and can literally save a life. Visit www.redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive in our area.

This week’s Health Talk was brought to you by Rutland Regional Medical Center.

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