Why you should donate blood

This Sunday, June 14, marks World Blood Donor Day, established by the World Health Organization 11 years ago to promote regular blood donation and thank donors for everything they give. It coincides with the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, the Austrian physician considered to be the founder of the modern blood transfusion.

Blood clinics are held on campus throughout the academic year, many of which are organized by student groups. If you aren't convinced yet, here are five great reasons to donate blood:

1. It saves lives.

Not only is your blood used in critical emergency situations, it is also needed for individuals with chronic, long-term conditions requiring frequent transfusions. According to Health Canada: it takes up to 50 donors to help save one person seriously injured in a car crash; up to five donors to save someone recovering from cardiovascular surgery; and up to eight weekly donors to help someone going through leukemia treatment.

2. There is no substitute for human blood.

Synthetic blood alternatives have been in the works for years, but are still the subject of much research and development.

3. It only takes about an hour.

That's four per cent of your day—easily doable.

4. It provides a free analysis of your blood.

Ever wonder what blood type you have? Giving blood is an easy way to find out. Donor blood is also screened for diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and West Nile Virus.

5. An excuse to eat sweet snacks.

The sugary goodies you eat after giving blood help increase levels of glucose going to the brain to prevent fainting. Drinking juice is also encouraged as it helps replenish fluid levels in the body.

Visit blood.ca to view clinic schedules and book an appointment.
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