Effects of Donating Blood

Wyatt Hodge , MVC writer

Regular blood donors are likely familiar with the side effects that come with losing a pint of blood, but there are also many other side effects that donors might not be aware of. 

Most donors experience obvious side effects such as soreness, bruising or swelling, or a combination of the three, at the needle insertion site. Donors can also experience nausea, dizziness, or light-headedness, but all of these are often temporary and can be easily prevented by eating and drinking enough before donating. 

Less obvious side effects tend to be more long lasting and occur from regularly donating. Many studies have shown that regularly donating blood has positive effects on a donor’s cardiovascular health. Donating clears out harmful iron deposits in the body that would otherwise take longer for the body to naturally dispose of. Donating has also been shown to decrease the donor’s risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack. 

Donating also has psychological, as well as physical, side effects. Donating often makes people feel good about helping others, and this altruistic feeling has been linked to positive health benefits. Donors also tend to feel a stronger feeling of community since they feel like they are helping to better the community they live in. 

But there are more benefits to donating blood than just the physical and mental benefits. Donating blood also acts as a free health screening, since all donated blood has to be tested before it is distributed, but this should not be the sole reason someone donates. If someone wants their blood tested, they should see a doctor. Another benefit to donating is that most donating facilities provide free snacks both before and after the donation to help negate the effects of losing blood. 

Overall, the benefits that donors experience from giving blood tend to outweigh the negative effects of giving blood. Anyone considering donating should look into what health conditions are particularly sensitive to donating blood or ask their doctor, because although there are many benefits to donating blood and it is typically harmless, there are some health conditions that can react negatively to donating blood. If someone finds that they are able to donate blood, then they should consider the mental and physical benefits as well as the negative side effects before deciding if they want to donate.