There are many ways that you can do to make a difference and save lives. One of these life-saving activities is by giving the gift of blood.
As far as we at Ozkilts® are concerned, Australian blood donors are heroes by sacrificing 40 minutes of their time with a needle up their arms to donate a pint of blood. This life saving pint may be a small amount, but getting more people in to donate, they become part of a whole set of heroes with pints of blood that will benefit others who might need it.
Why is Blood Important?
Apart from delivering much needed oxygen and nutrients to every system in the body. Blood also collects waste products such as carbon dioxide, and take these waste products to organs responsible for making sure these wastes leave the body.
Blood is composed of living cells that help support and maintain our body tissues. Red blood cells are filled with haemoglobin and carry oxygen from our lungs to the rest of our bodies.
We also have white blood cells, whose main function is to attack and defend against any form of infection. Another are platelets, which help our blood to clot when injuries happen. And then there’s plasma, a pale yellow liquid that makes up 55% of our blood.
Blood is Thicker Than Water
A blood donation is one of the greatest gifts that a person can give another. Donating blood is a selfless act that can have a long-lasting impact on another person’s life.
Blood transfusions save lives every day. Blood transfusions are used to help people who are injured, having surgery, those who are undergoing treatment for various ailments that need blood.
Donating blood may seem most important during natural disasters or other major events where many people are injured. However, do know that hospitals everywhere always require donated blood. Fact is, blood transfusions help save millions of lives the world over.
Benefits of Donating Blood
Donating blood does not only benefit recipients or those who needs it. There are health benefits for blood donors too.
You Get a Free Health Check-up and Pathology Test
Before you donate blood, you will have to undergo a medical check-up to be sure you are healthy enough to be a donor. Undergoing this process means you will also undergo a pathology test to find out if you have potential health issues – all these for free.
Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease and Liver Diseases
This benefits possible donors who have an iron-rich diet. Having excess iron constricts blood vessels in your heart and liver, where it’s stored, making one prone to heart attacks and liver cirrhosis.
By donating blood, you’ll be able to get rid of 225 mg to 250 mg of iron, which significantly help in preventing your body from iron overload.
Lowers Cancer Risk
Iron reduction is associated with lower cancer risk and mortality, as reported in a study published in the Journal of the Cancer Institute. In the study, regular donors with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) – a condition where blood does not flow properly to the legs, had a reduced risk of developing subsequent cancer than those who did not.
Donating blood regularly helps balance iron levels in your body, making your risk for various types of cancer becomes lower too.
Helps You Develop New Blood Cells
An average adult has an approximate 10 pints (5.68 litres) of blood. When you donate blood, you only give out one pint of your total blood supply.
Your body will then act to replace that blood in your system, needing only a couple of days to make new, oxygen-rich blood cells.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Blood donation not only lowers excess iron in your system, but also eliminates excess amounts of lipids (fatty substances) in your blood. The importance of this is that these excess fat does not accumulate in your arteries, thus lowering your cholesterol levels and the risk of contracting heart disease.
Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
When you donate blood, it does not only benefit you physically. Psychologically, choosing to donate blood uplifts your human spirit too.
We humans are wired to feel a deep sense of satisfaction when we are able to help someone in need. The knowledge that your gift of life giving blood will be used in emergencies and other medical procedures to save lives adds to your sense of self-worth.
Donate Blood and Save Lives
Blood donation can be considered one of the highest form of humanitarian act. Without blood donation, patients can’t undergo surgeries, recover from illnesses, or simply to function on a daily basis.
People with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) undergoing weekly haemodialysis, who are incapable to produce their own blood while waiting for a kidney donor match, will have no chance of extending their lives without blood donation. It’s true that you may not be able to help cure someone afflicted with life-threatening diseases such as cancers or CKD, but you can definitely help someone stay alive when you donate blood.
By donating blood, you are giving someone the opportunity to have a new lease on life. In the process, you are also helping yourself gain an overall health boost.
There is a high-demand to boost blood supplies and for blood donors across Australia, as the demand has already reached a 10-year-high. Blood is needed somewhere in Australia every 24 seconds, but currently, data shows that only 3.5 percent of Australians donate blood. A blood donor is needed every 5 minutes in Australia. We can do better.
Up to three human lives may be saved with every blood donation. If you have never donated blood before, or have not donated blood for quite a while, now is the perfect time to give life by giving blood.
Donating blood takes only an hour or two (at the most) of your time. The main thing is, that lost hour or two may mean helping someone gain years of extended life for someone else.
We at Ozkilts® call on all Australians and our kilted brothers and sisters to do what we do so well. Roll up our sleeves and lend an arm. Be a hero, donate blood, and save lives.