People are busier today than they have ever been. Between having a career, raising a family, maintaining a social life, and finding time for themselves, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. So when blood donation comes to mind, people may think to themselves, “Well, I would, but I simply don’t have the time.”
While blood donation may take a few hours--depending on the type of blood being donated--the benefits of donating extend far beyond potentially saving a life (despite that being the most important reason why people should donate). There are surprising personal and health benefits to donating blood that people may not realise--and may make those four hours in a donation centre seem much faster.
You Can Become Part of a Greater Community
What people may not know about blood donation is that many centres pride themselves on their donor communities. People who frequently donate often develop friendships with the donation centre staff, fellow donors, and the clinicians who perform the donation itself.
Donor communities form because people visit the donation centres with the same goal in mind: to continue the advancement of medicine by donating blood. When people come together with the same values and beliefs, true friendships can form, Additionally, many donation centres have referral programs where current members can ask their friends to donate blood, which further extends the donor community.
Your Wallet Will Feel Fuller
Many blood donation centres offer financial compensation for your time and effort spent donating. Donors can expect to earn approximately £50 for blood and its derivatives like plasma and serum.1 Inquire with the donor centre about other specimens you can donate.
And for some specialties, like Lupus, patients can earn a substantial amount as reimbursement as well. Some companies are offering patients who have had a diagnosis of Lupus disease up to £500 per week for donating plasma.2
For current donors who are members of the community, bringing new donors into the clinic can be financially rewarding as well. Many centres have referral programs in which donors are compensated for the number of friends or family they invite to donate. Not only can you earn money by donating, you can be rewarded for the friends who donate, too.
Your Donation May Reduce Your Risk of Cancer, if You Have Excess Free Radicals
A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that individuals who donate blood may reduce their excess internal iron stores, thus reducing overall individual cancer risk.3 While iron, one of the main minerals found in blood, is necessary for survival, excessive amounts have been known to increase the amount of free-radical damage in the body but donating blood can reduce the amount of excess iron in your body.
Particularly, among males, the same study has found that frequent donors had lower risks of liver, lung, colon, stomach, and throat cancer.3 Blood donors also tend to be healthier overall, and, therefore, may have a reduced risk of cancer naturally.
It’s important to note, however, that these findings do not apply to all patients. Patients should always check with their doctor about donating blood if they have excess free radicals.
You May be Able to Skip the Gym!
We can’t confidently say that donating blood can become the next new weight-loss craze. However, a study conducted by the University of San Diego has found that by donating one pint of blood, your body “burns” between 600 and 650 calories.4 Despite relaxing in a comfortable lounge chair, the body actually is burning calories.
This is because blood has weight. Blood makes up approximately 10% of our weight, which translates to 1.2-1.5 gallons.5 By drawing blood and removing that excess “weight” from our bodies, it is possible to see the number on the scale decrease.
What users should know about donation, however, is that it should not be incorporated into any sort of weight-loss regime. These facts are just another motivation to get to a donation center.
Your Heart Will Thank You
We know that providing blood for research may save a human life through direct transfusions or by advancing medical research. But did you know that donating blood can benefit your own heart? Regularly donating blood may improve heart health, not compromise it, if you are a generally healthy individual.
An article published in OneBlood states that donating blood regularly reduces the thickness and viscosity of your own blood, allowing blood to flow more easily through the blood vessels and reach the heart faster.6 Another study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that participants who donated blood had an 88% reduced risk of suffering a heart attack.7
Bonus Benefit: You’ll Be Increasing the Number of Current Donors
Despite the majority of individuals meeting the qualifications, many choose not to. Perhaps if more individuals knew about the surprising benefits to donating, such as making friends, earning money, and even burning calories, that number of donors would be much higher.
Sign up to donate today or contact us at +44 203 608 6260 to learn more.