January is National Blood Donor Month and we are discovering the importance of blood donations all across the United States. According to the Red Cross, more than 44,000 blood donations are needed every day. Blood donations are increasingly in demand and many organizations are putting forth their greatest efforts to decrease blood shortages nationwide.
Donating blood can be beneficial in more than one way— Not only does giving the gift of life imbue you with a feeling of self-satisfaction, but donating blood can lead to fewer heart problems for the donor. According to various studies including one from www.bloodcenters.org., sometimes heart disease is caused by an excessive amount of iron, and donating blood on a regular basis reduces the iron stores in your body. Furthermore, by reducing the amount of iron in your body you are preserving your heart and vascular health.
You may now be thinking to yourself, “I would love to donate blood but isn’t it complicated and time-consuming?” or “How can I find out if I am eligible?” The answer is that young adults all the way up to seniors can be viable donors, and the process to discover if you can donate has never been easier. Below are some reasons why you may or may not be able to become a blood donor.
You can donate blood if you:
- are at least 17 years of age (in some states 16 years of age)
- weigh at least 110 pounds
- have good health
- have not donated within the last 56 days
Some reasons for deferral:
- high or low blood pressure
- body piercing
- international travel
- cold or flu
- sexually transmitted disease
If you have found yourself unsure as to whether or not you can donate blood after glancing at these two brief lists, you can browse online and research credible websites of organizations who hold blood drives. You can also go online to find a blood donation center or blood drive near you, where you can determine if you are eligible to donate blood.
Donating blood has been often referred to as the “gift that keeps on giving” and we at SelectQuote believe there is no greater gift than the gift of life. There is no limit as to how many times you can donate blood, as long as you wait 56 days between each donation. The actual process of donating blood takes about 10 minutes and the entire process lasts about an hour. Start your new year off by looking for a blood donation center closest to you! … from your caring friends at SelectQuote.