You could save a life

2016-11-30 06:00
Photo: supplied Head on over to the KwaDukuza Town Hall supper room on Saturday, 3 December and give the gift of life. The blood donation clinic will run from 9am until 3pm. The community is urged to roll up their sleeves in lieu of the festive season when more than ever blood is needed to save lives.

Photo: supplied Head on over to the KwaDukuza Town Hall supper room on Saturday, 3 December and give the gift of life. The blood donation clinic will run from 9am until 3pm. The community is urged to roll up their sleeves in lieu of the festive season when more than ever blood is needed to save lives.

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A BLOOD transfusion can be a life saving treatment for patients with cancer, patients undergoing surgery, children with severe anaemia, women who have complications with their pregnancy, and accident victims.

If you’re still in two minds about whether you should donate blood, consider that doing so not only helps others, you are doing something for your health.

How much and how often?

By law, you may only donate about 480ml of blood every 56 days, to ensure that you’ve had enough time to replenish the red cells from your last donation.

The body replaces all of its lost blood volume within 48 hours after donating blood; the replenishment of red blood cells takes a little more time, about four to eight weeks worth.

Though the waiting period may be a bit long, the altruistic feeling of donating blood every two to three months can often be reward enough to make the wait and donation worthwhile.

Additionally, the positive feelings associated with blood donation have been shown to improve both emotional and physical health.

When donating blood, you are removing 225 to 250mg of iron from your body; therefore reducing your risks of health complications.

In fact, a four-and-a-half-year study found that those who donated blood biannually had reduced their risk of cancer and mortality compared to those who didn’t, simply because of decreased iron levels.

Blood donation has also been found to help those wishing to lose weight. A person who donates blood burns about 650 calories with every pint donated, as the body has to work to replenish itself.

Though there are many benefits to donating blood just one time, the people who benefit most from blood donations are regular donors.

According to a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association, researchers found that those between the ages of 43 and 61 had fewer heart attacks and strokes when they had donated blood every six months.

Another study done by the Miller-Keystone Blood Center in the US found that consistent blood donation is associated with lower risks of cancer diagnosis; risk levels of being diagnosed with any type of cancer decreased in correlation with how often donors donated blood.

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