Sunday, January 27, 2008


Donating blood is not only a wonderful act for those in need but, it also has been linked to increased health benefits, especially for men. Here are some facts from Wikipedia:


In patients prone to iron overload (e.g. due to hemochromatosis), blood donation prevents the accumulation of iron. Blood banks in the US must label the blood if it is from a therapeutic donor, so most do not accept donations from donors with any blood disease[17] . Others, such as the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, accept blood from donors with hemochromatosis. It is a genetic disorder that does not affect the safety of the blood.

Donating blood may reduce the risk of heart disease for men[18] and stimulate the generation of red blood cells. Differences between men and women in heart attack risk may be due to circulating iron levels which are reduced by menstruation. Donating blood may reduce men's risk to that of women's, but the link has not been firmly established. [19]

Other incentives are sometimes added by employers, usually time off for the purposes of donating. Blood centers will also sometimes add incentives such as assurances that donors would have priority during shortages or other programs. Other incentives may include prize drawings for donors and rewards for organizers of successful drives, especially during periods when blood is often in short supply. Some blood donors, such as for plasmapheresis in the US, are paid for donating. This again leads to concerns about donors being less than truthful about their health in order to receive money.

A donor effectively burns about 650 calories by donating one pint of blood. [20] Donors who are on aggressive diets may be at a higher risk for some complications.

The majority of blood donors, however, donate as an act of charity and do not expect to receive any direct benefit from the donation.

Find a donation center, improve your health and help save a life.

Coach Kevin


Nicholas said...

You know this is something I have always wanted to do. Unfortunately my one "fear" which is my "mind killer" is needles. Specifically needles drawing out significant portions of my blood. Hopefully one day soon I can blow through this fear and donate some blood.

Ellen said...


Blood donation may be good for men because it reduces the average age of circulating red blood cells--the donation stimulates production of new, more flexible (i.e., that don't like to get stuck in small vessels) red cells.

For surgeries like a liver transplant, a patient may need upwards of 30 units of red blood cells--and 10-20 units of plasma...

You can also donate platelets, the blood cells that help people stop or prevent bleeding. These are precious resources because they cannot be stored as long as red blood cells--only about 5-7 days versus 56 days. Patients undergoing bone marrow transplants for leukemia or lymphoma can be dependent on transfused platelets for many weeks...

Nicholas said...

Thanks for the happy birthday posting Doc. Now I just have to get over my fear of needles.