Quiz: The Benefits of Giving Blood
Ashley Jowett
/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2022

Quiz: The Benefits of Giving Blood

Can you spot which of the following is a benefit of giving blood? Choose as many as apply.

  • When you give blood, you get a free medical screening. Staff will test to see if you are anemic, provide a blood pressure reading, and take your pulse and temperature. Plus, your donated blood will go through many screening tests, which may reveal potential health problems.
  • Giving blood may help reduce high iron stores in your body. Hemachromatosis is the most common genetic disease among Caucasians. Giving blood is the preferred treatment for the condition.
  • Even for people without hemochromatosis, the helpful iron-reducing aspect of giving blood may lower your risk of suffering a heart attack. According to a study by the published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, middle-aged men who donated lowered their risk of heart attack by 88%.
  • Some people, those with peripheral artery disease, even experienced reduced cancer risk after giving blood, compared to those who don’t.
  • Too much iron can also affect your liver, so giving blood helps you maintain a healthy liver too.
  • For those interested in weight loss, people who give blood are literally giving away calories, about 650 of them per pint. For every five times you donate, you could lose a pound (provided you change nothing else about your diet and exercise habits).
  • Donating blood is relaxing! You get to take a break and put your feet up in the middle of the day.
  • The American Red Cross and companies like Amazon sometimes offer incentives for donating.
  • You get choices. You can choose your donation type based on the amount of time you have or the people you would like to help most.
  • There are snacks. Need we say more?  
  • For tech heads, the American Red Cross app is on point. It is free to download, and you can schedule your blood donation appointment, fill out your RapidPass, and see where your blood goes and the impact of the donation.
  • Giving blood is a great way for busy people to make a difference in their community. No time to volunteer? No worries! It takes less than an hour every two months. If you book an appointment and use RapidPass, it’s even faster. And the time you spend actually doing the “giving blood” part, is just 10 minutes!
  • You might not be a hero, but you can save up to three lives every time you give blood. That has to make you feel great. Did we mention that you can even see the difference your donation makes by logging into the Red Cross app to see where your blood is being donated.
  • This is a self-esteem boost, because you are perfect for giving blood. Every blood type is needed, and the blood donation staff will praise you and thank you for coming in.

If you guessed all 14 are true benefits of blood donation, you are right! And any one of them would be enough to make blood donation worthwhile. Please visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/ to find a blood drive and donate as soon as you can.

Angela Theiss, MD, is a pathologist at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, in Bennington. She is a regular blood donor.

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