Donating blood is a great cause to help others in your community. If you are considering to donate blood, but is unsure if you are too old, here’s some good news for you. There is no age restriction for donating blood. However, there are multiple health requirements put in place to ensure your safety and well-being after the donation. Here are some requirements you should take note of before donating blood, and some reasons why you should do it.
Before donating blood and helping others, it is important for you to ensure that you are in good health. If you have recently experienced an illness like the flu or a cold, you will be rejected from donating blood. This is due to the fact that your flu or cold might return with worse symptoms, which can be life-threatening or fatal for older adults.
Even though there isn’t an age limit, there is a minimum weight requirement of 110 pounds. If you are under the weight requirement, your body might not be able to withstand the loss of blood during the donation, and you will have a higher risk of fainting.
Why Should You Donate Blood?
Short Supply of Blood in the Winter
Due to the unfavorable weather conditions, the donor pool during the winter is small. Many regular donors fall ill, go on holidays, or have trouble traveling to the blood bank. However, the patients who are in need of blood remain constant throughout the year. According to the American Red Cross, approximately 44,000 blood transfusions are needed in the United States every day. That means that someone in the United States requires a blood transfusion every two seconds.
You Can Save Multiple Lives
The blood bank collects blood by the pint. With each pint of blood, you can save up to three lives. This is because we can store blood and use it when we need it in parts – red cells, plasma, or the platelets. While blood donors do not expect to be reward for their act of kindness, it feels good knowing that your blood is put to good use in helping others in their time of need.
Free Health Screening
Every time you donate blood, you will receive a free health screening to ensure that you are fit enough for the procedure. The phlebotomist will check your blood pressure, pulse, hemoglobin level, temperature, and even screen you for infectious diseases. If they detect an issue with your vital signs, or other health problems, they will direct you to a health expert. This means that donating blood regularly can also help you to monitor your own health and identify common age-related diseases.
Healthier Heart and Vascular System
Research has shown that regular blood donation is correlated to lower blood pressure and a lower risk for heart attacks. You might be wondering how that is possible. This is due to the hemoglobin levels in our bodies. If it is too high, it can contribute to the formation of blood clots, heart attacks, and stroke. Donating blood lowers the viscosity of the blood, which can help you reduce cardiovascular risk factors.