A mild workout has been compared to donating blood because of how physically demanding it may be on the body. But, it’s not as scary as it sounds!
Blood donation does make the body work and uses energy in a number of ways, while it may not be quite like a full-fledged gym session. When that poke is made into the median cubital vein, the heart rate may increase as a result causing a slight discomfort, just like it does during exercise, and the body’s stress reaction may be triggered.
As Grey’s Anatomy’s biggest fan, I happen to know a thing or two about the importance and usage of blood. (But I also did some research.)
Billions of people are survivors of cancer, trauma, transplants, complex ground-breaking surgeries, and anemia through blood transfusions that have been made possible through the selfless act of donating blood.
There are a few perks apart from dizziness, feeling faint, and nausea that people may experience after the act of kindness. Yes, you get cookies and a refreshing drink but the risk of a stroke and heart disease decreases, improving the quality of blood. Plus, you get to pat yourself on the back for the win-win situation.
Let’s talk eligibility:
- Ages between 18-65 make great candidates.
- Minimum body weight of 50 kg.
- No history of hepatitis and HIV.
- Disclose past medical conditions or ongoing treatment to medical staff who can confirm eligibility or otherwise.
- Irish Blood Transfusion Service can be contacted for further eligibility questions.
Now, for tattooed folks like me, the question of whether we can get the needle in ourselves remains confusing. It appears that we can in fact. Four months after getting inked in a registered Irish tattoo studio and 12 months in a non-registered studio outside of Ireland, is as long as the waiting period is to donate blood. The rule is to ensure that if the pierced skin develops an infection in the body, this duration allows these potential infections to be detected and treated. This applies to piercings as well.
Needle phobia can induce anxiety in people who want to help donate but cannot, at least just not in the traditional way. There are new innovations every day such as plasma and platelets transmissions that are also vital. However, the most important of these all is organising blood donation camps and educating people on the purpose and necessity of volunteering to be a part of this generous contribution.
Even though donated blood can be kept in storage for a while (about 42 days), there is always a demand for blood. The need for blood transfusions is constant, and every drop has the potential to save lives. Hence, if you are eligible, think about including blood donation in your regular schedule. As Dr Derek Shepherd would always say, “It’s a beautiful day to save lives”.
You can find out more information about donating blood on www.giveblood.ie/.