How donating blood can be good for your heart

Every day, hospitals around the U.S. use thousands of pints of blood. Blood transfusions are used in emergency care wings for severely injured patients, for patients going through surgery, cancer treatments and in labor and delivery. Each time you donate a pint of blood, you could be saving the lives of up to three people. There is always a desperate need for more blood donors, as many people never donate blood, and many who try find they are ineligible to donate. During National Blood Donor Month, the team at Good Samaritan Hospital encourages our neighbors in San Jose to consider giving the gift of life .

Blood donors are given a quick physical
One of the top priorities in the public health field is ensuring the safety of the nation’s blood supply. This means that all potential blood donors are rigorously screened for health problems, such as infectious diseases.

After you go through an extensive health questionnaire, you’ll be given a mini physical, including a check of your:

  • Hemoglobin levels
  • Blood pressure
  • Pulse
  • Body temperature

Since blood pressure is a major indicator of cardiovascular health, getting yours checked can improve your understanding of your risk factors of heart disease. If the blood drive volunteer informs you that your blood pressure is higher than the ideal range, consider making an appointment with your primary care doctor.

Blood donation might support blood vessel health
The evidence isn’t conclusive, but some researchers think that becoming a regular blood donor might improve the flow of blood. When there is less resistance to the flow of blood, there is a reduced risk of damage to the lining of the blood vessel walls. Consequently, this might reduce the risk of arterial blockages and the heart attacks they cause.

Blood donors may have balanced iron levels
Another possibility regarding cardiovascular health and blood donation is the effect blood donation has on iron levels . Each time you donate a pint of blood, you lose a little iron. Some people have too much iron in their bodies, which may put cardiovascular health at risk.

If you have concerns about donating blood, your doctor at Good Samaritan Hospital is always here to help. Your gift can make the difference between life and death for someone right here in our San Jose community. If you have any general questions about our hospital services, a registered nurse is available to take your call at (888) 724-2362.

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