Being a Blood Donor
Dear Dr. Donohue:
I give blood regularly and have done so for years. Does it promote good health by making the body replace blood cells that have been taken? Or is the loss of blood hard on your health?
I have nothing but praise for you. I wish everyone were as generous as you. Nine out of ten of us will need blood some time in our lives. In the United States, more than 36,000 units of blood are used daily. A unit is a pint, about 500 ml (milliliters). The average adult has between eight and twelve pints of blood. Most adults can easily spare one. Only three percent of people eligible to give blood do so. You fulfill a great need. Thank you.
Giving blood doesn’t make a person healthier. It doesn’t make a person unhealthier either. If a person’s health would be negatively affected by donating blood, the nurses drawing blood would not allow a donation.
Here are few more facts to know about being a blood donor. Donors must be at least sixteen years old in most states and weigh at least 110 pounds. Donors must show an official form of identification. ID must show a photo and proof of your age.
People can donate blood every 56 days. The blood count returns to normal in three or four weeks. After the blood donation, the donor can do light exercise. However, he or she should avoid heavy lifting or pushing for the rest of the day.