You will find out your blood type
Are you a common A, a rare B or AB, or a much needed O? Knowing your blood type can be handy in emergency situations, particularly if someone you care about is in an accident or needs blood in a hurry. Although there is more to blood typing than As, Bs, and Os, knowing your type is not just a must, but kind of cool as well.
You will be helping up to 3 people
Your blood consists of different parts which can be separated and given to as many as 3 people, or alternatively, where the patient is bleeding extensively, given as a whole. Red blood cells are generally given to those with anaemia, while plasma is given to those who have lost a lot of blood and may be in shock. Platelets, part of your clotting factor in your blood, are given to those whose clotting ability is compromised, particularly cancer patients.
You can afford to spare it
You have about 5 litres of blood in your body at any given time and you will only be donating 10% or 500ml at your donation. Within 24 hours your blood volume is back up to where it was. Your red blood cells and platelets take a bit longer, which is why you can only donate every 56 days.
Blood is in short supply
Regardless of your blood type, the blood bank is always in need of your blood. With just over 1 million blood donors and a population of over 52 million in South Africa, it is obvious to see why there is always a shortage. It’s also important to bear in mind that as many as 30 blood products can be needed for one emergency involving one person, so your blood will never go to waste.
It’s for a good cause
Donating blood is the simplest and quickest way to do something truly life changing for your fellow man. The bottom line is: Blood saves lives! Blood banks are not-for-profit organisations and only charge for the testing and processing of blood.