Did you know that during the holiday season, blood donations drop significantly? Most hospitals rarely have enough blood or platelets to supply those in need during the year; however, being “too busy” during the winter makes the shortage more obvious. In addition, the amount of hospital visits people make during the holiday increases. Since blood cannot be manufactured, the only option is for people to donate.
A simple pint of blood can save 3 lives in a body that typically has 10-11 pints available at any time. The bonuses for giving blood are two-fold. Not only do you feel good saving a life but your body is affected.
Before blood is drawn, your temperature, blood pressure, and iron levels are taken thus it’s a mini check-up! In addition, research suggests that regular blood donations keep your iron levels monitored, which diminishes the chance of build up. Although iron is helpful, an abundance of iron can increase the chances of heart disease. Research is also developing a proof that reducing this build-up of iron will reduce cancer risks.
After donating, the human body has burned a significant amount of calories, which is why you’re given a cookie. 🙂 (Yes, I would donate just for the cookie; I have enough blood to spare!) I, personally, feel that after giving blood, my energy level is higher than usual as my body works on making new blood. The bounce in my step is often apparent to others.
So how and where do you go to give?
While blood drives are held throughout the United States, it’s just as easy to make an appointment and walk-in to a center to give blood.
If you’re living in the Chicagoland area, the Heartland Blood Center shows their locations, offers days and times for blood drives, and allows a user to login to make an appointment.
The American Red Cross website maps all of the blood donations near the entered zip code.
Want to do more? Organ donors are needed as well. Make sure your family knows your wishes and sign up today!