Apart from free medical treatments in government hospitals, you can also get some other health benefits as well.
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Did you know that blood is a perishable item that can only last for about 35 to 42 days? That is why, if you realise, hospitals are in constant need of blood donations. Another fun fact is, donating a pint of blood (around 450ml) can save up to three lives.
Here’s a little bit of science for you. On average, one adult person has around 5 litres (around 10.5 pints) of blood. In a blood donation, only 10% (one pint) of blood in a person’s body is extracted. If there’s a 20-40% of blood loss, a person can feel anxious, confused and their blood pressure will rise. However, a 40% blood loss or more, can lead to severe shock and them passing out.
Without treatment measures, their body will loose its ability to pump blood and maintain oxygen delivery once they’ve lost around 50% of their blood volume. At this point they might be in a coma or worse, die if aggressive life-saving measures arent taken.
You see, that is why a good blood volume is so important to us. It does indeed save lives. That’s also why blood donation drives are so crucial. Apart from the noble altruism cause of donating blood, do you know that there are other awesome perks for you as well?
Existing Benefits of Blood Donation
1. Free Medical Benefits
For those who didn’t already know, yes, you can actually get free medical attention from public hospitals according to how many times you’ve donated your blood. This includes free Hepatitis B vaccine and outpatient treatment.
Hey, remember this. If you’re lucky and persistent enough to donate more than 30 times, you can get into first class wards in a public hospital when you’re sick.
For example this man had undergone a surgery worth of RM19.7k, only to find out that his treatment costed zero ringgit because he had donated blood 22 times!
2. Free Health Check-Ups
Before any blood is drawn from your veins, you would have to go through some simple physical examination and blood test. They’re not thorough tests but they can help identify health concerns like anemia or high/low blood pressure.
The test will check a person’s blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, and hemoglobin or iron levels. If some of these don’t check out, the person is not allowed to donate blood and this could be the first step of identification for the person to get further treatment for other health concerns.
There are also strict guidelines before you can donate blood, so some thorough and personal questions will be asked by your physician before you can donate.
3. Stimulate Blood Cell Production
After donating blood, your body will automatically work to replenish the blood loss. This will stimulate the production of new blood cells in the bone marrow and sequentially help maintain good health.
4. Prevents Hemochromatosis & Maintain Iron Level
Our blood has iron (hemoglobin) in it and there are good and bad levels of iron in our body, depending on the situation.
People with hemochromatosis have too much iron in their blood. Excess iron can deposit into different organs of the body and in turn affect the way these organs function, like the liver and heart.
Hence, by donating blood, these people can maintain a healthy iron level and also help other people along the way.
5. Reduce Risk of Heart Attack
In 2013, a study suggests that donating blood may reduce the risk of a heart attack as high body iron stores are believed to increase the risk of heart attacks.
In 2019, researchers concluded that blood donation offers a “protective effect of long-term against cardiovascular disease” after studying the data of nearly 160,000 females who donated blood for 10 years.
6. Reduce Risk of Cancer
Blood donation also have anti-cancer benefits as a reduction of iron level in the body is linked to low cancer risk. By donating blood frequently, the iron stores in the body is maintained at a healthy level.
7. Help In Weight Loss
Regular blood donation can reduce the weight of blood donor by burning calories but this is only short term.
However, this is helpful for those who are obese and are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease or other health disorders. It can also identify people with low weight and they may benefit from counselling.
But Our Blood Banks Are Still Short!
Sometimes, blood banks still do not have enough blood storage because not enough people are donating blood.
There are ways to increase blood donations and some of them are intensive advertising, mobile blood transfusion service centres, establishment of donation suites, blood donation campaigns and most importantly, incentives to blood donors.
For example, a Twitter user @tekong recently expressed his point of view saying wouldn’t it be great if blood or organ donors could get more discounts in terms of food, drinks, cashback, and roadtax renewals?
Fully knowing the current benefits of a blood donor, he expressed that his ideas were only theoretical and just a two cent of his for the future. Some of the netizens agree on his idea and said that this could make more people interested to donate.
However, one user expressed that donating should be mainly altruistic and not be focused too much on certain rewards.
So what do you think? Do you think that donating blood should only be done because of altruistic measures or do you think that by giving more incentives to donors, more people will be intrigued ?
In the end, it all comes down to the person’s own judgement. Donate if you’re able to help others. Who knows, one day, you’ll be on the receiving end, getting that help.