5 reasons to donate blood

Jan 21, 2021


When was the last time you donated blood? If your answer is more than two months ago, you may be eligible to donate again. And if you’ve never given blood before, the process is probably easier than you think.

Donating blood doesn’t just help recipients—it benefits you, too. Research has shown that helping others reduces stress and contributes to your personal sense of well-being and belonging. During National Blood Donor Month, consider these five reasons to donate

  1. You’ll help someone else.
    Healthcare providers use blood donations daily—for surgery patients, organ transplant recipients and accident victims, both young and old. In fact, just one accident victim could need up to 100 units of blood. Most often, blood transfusions are used to help cancer patients. Your blood donation could go to many different uses, but you can guarantee that it will go to someone who needs it.
  2. Every donation makes a difference.
    According to the American Red Cross, just one donation can save up to three lives. And you may be able to donate platelets or plasma, as well. For example, type AB-positive plasma can be given to patients of all blood types. But only 3% of the population has AB-positive blood, meaning this plasma is usually in short supply.
  3. You get a free health check-up.
    Before you donate, a nurse checks your temperature, blood pressure and pulse. In fact, some people find out through donating blood that they have high blood pressure and need to follow up with a healthcare provider. Many locations also check your blood for COVID-19 antibodies. If you have had COVID-19, you can donate plasma that will go to help current COVID-19 patients fight infection.
  4. All blood types are needed.
    Many people self-disqualify themselves without realizing they can donate blood. While O-negative blood is used for emergency transfusions, other blood types are still in high demand. About 38% of Americans are eligible to donate blood each year, but only about 10% actually do.
  5. You may need a blood donation in the future.
    Statistics show that at least 25% of people will need blood at least once in their lifetime. Donating blood is an act of kindness and compassion toward others. Choose to give back—you may be in need of a blood donation yourself one day.

Make your appointment today

Donating blood is easy. You can use the American Red Cross location tool to find a blood donation site near you. You can make an appointment, although some locations may accept walk-ins. The day of your donation, drink plenty of water and eat healthy meals. Typically, the entire process of giving blood takes only around 30-60 minutes.

You can give blood up to six times per year—every 56 days. Donating even just two to three times a year saves lives. Find a blood donation site near you today.