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Five Health Benefits of Donating Blood


Staff Writer

Donating blood in college is more common than you would think.

Almost 20 percent of the millions of donations made each year come from high school and college blood drives, according to the American Red Cross.

It’s even possible to donate blood at Salisbury University. In fact, SU’s Alpha Phi Omega is hosting a blood drive on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Guerreri University Center’s Wicomico Room.

If you are considering donating blood this week, or sometime in the future, you may be interested to discover that there are numerous physical and mental health benefits associated with blood donation.

Giving blood may…

  1. Provide a mental boost of self-accomplishment. Before we address the physical benefits of donating blood, the psychological benefits are indeed powerful. By donating blood, you are inarguably providing a life-supporting key that can help save someone else’s life. This can provide a satisfying feeling of purpose knowing that something you did may help another human being live another day.
  2. Uncover possible health problems. While the procedure of donating blood is not the same as visiting your health care provider,  prior to the blood draw, the phlebotomist checks your body temperature, hemoglobin, pulse and blood pressure. If they uncover a possible health risk such as low iron, or anything that seems unusual, the clinic will not draw your blood and will notify you of the issue immediately.
  3. Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. According to a study conducted by the American Journal of Epidemiology, donating blood regularly may reduce risk of a heart attack by 88 percent. Currently, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
  4. Lowers levels of too much iron. Having high levels of iron in the blood constricts your blood vessels, thus creating more risk of a heart attack. This is specifically important for men who tend to have higher levels of iron than women who naturally release blood every month due to menstruation. Donating blood is a simple, helpful way to rid the body’s extra iron stores.
  5. Reduce risk of developing cancer. Studies have shown that too much iron in the blood has been associated with an increased risk of developing cancer. According to a study published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, patients who regularly donated blood had a lower risk of developing cancer than those who did not.

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