Pulse for Thought: The Benefits of Being a Blood Donor

The dual benefits of donating blood
A, B, AB, or O, this article explains why blood donation is not only beneficial to the community and can save many lives, but it can also be beneficial to your health as the donor.

Through just one individual donating their blood, many lives could be saved. When you donate just one pint of blood, you could be saving up to three lives. Your single donation could contain several medical returns that can be beneficial to multiple patients!

To be eligible to donate blood, you have to have a valid ID, be at least 17 years of age, weigh more than 50kg and be in good health with no prior infectious diseases. You also need to at least have an 8-week gap between blood donations.


Furthermore to saving lives, there are many health returns and benefits from giving blood. 


Advantages of donating blood:

Insight into your health 

Apart from your regular physical check-up, there is the pre-donation check-up, which involves examining your blood pressure, body temperature, pulse, hemoglobin, and more. It can reveal specific health issues in your blood like irregular iron, which could be vital in spotting life-threatening diseases early on.


Lower risk of a heart attack

Donating blood yearly could reduce your risk of a heart attack by 88%. This is because excessive amounts of iron in the blood can restrict your blood vessels, increasing your chances of having a heart attack. By donating blood, you remove excess iron from your blood, allowing your blood vessels to function more freely.


Identify Cancer Risks

Regular blood donation can be associated with lower risks of cancers, including liver, colon, lung, and throat cancers. This is also because the release of iron from the bloodstream reduces oxidative stress and allows your blood to breathe.


It's good for your liver 

Iron overload can also affect your liver. Research has shown that an excess of iron can lead to conditions like NAFLD (Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), Hepatitis C, and other diseases that directly affect your liver. Despite the different factors that can affect the development of these diseases, regularly donating blood can help get rid of the extra iron storage and keep your liver healthy. 


Mental health benefits 

One of the major benefits of donating blood are the psychological positive wellbeing for your mental health. Donating blood ultimately means that someone in need will be receiving it.  Like volunteer work, donating blood regularly can drastically improve your sense of empathy and your sense of self. Engaging in volunteering and donating blood can have a positive psychological effect, reducing the risk of depression and giving you an increased sense of purpose. 


While the health benefits of donating blood for the donor are considerable, the most significant advantage is its importance for the community. It is good for you as the donor, but it is even better for those who desperately need it.



Blood Donation Centers in Saudi Arabia 

In Riyadh, you can head to King Fahad Medical City to donate blood, or make an appointment with the Riyadh Health Affairs to have your blood drawn in the comfort of your own home. You can do this by calling or sending a whatsapp message to the following number: +966-593291880


In Jeddah, donate blood at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre or Dr. Erfan and Bagedo General Hospital


In Eastern Province, you can donate blood at the John Hopkins Aramco Healthcare Centre, or at various mobile blood donation centers that move around to different locations on the lookout for donors. You can check out their website for more information or call  +966-13-870-6770 or +966-13-870-6638. 


To know the list and locations of blood banks in the Kingdom, you can download the Wateen app, which is the national platform for blood donation in cooperation with the ministry of health. 


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