8 Surprising Perks Of Being A Blood Donor

Did you know regular blood donors in Malaysia get access to first-class hospital wards?

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8. Weight loss

You burn 650 calories and lose a pound for every pint of donated blood

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Nothing is more Malaysian than loving food. Did you know that donating blood could help with your expanding waistline? By donating blood, you burn 650 calories and lose a pound (0.45kg) for every pint (0.47 litres) of donated blood. And all you need to do is lie down for awhile.

7. Free health check-ups

The medical crew at blood donation drives will give you a mini-physical. They’ll tell you important stuff about your blood type, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and more. This beats going to a GP and paying hundreds of ringgit or the same service.

6. First-class hospital wards

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If you’re admitted into a hospital for any reason, comfort is central. In Malaysia, if you donate blood a certain amount of times, you’ll be entitled to free treatment in a first-class hospital ward. Of course you’ll have to donate blood at the National Blood Centre (Pusat Darah Negara) or associated hospitals. More details here.

5. Free Hepatitis B vaccination

Hepatitis B is no joke – it can destroy your liver and it’s 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV. 1.4 million Malaysians have the disease. If you donate blood twice in one year, you’ll be given the Hepatitis B vaccine for free. Again, this only applies to blood donations at the National Blood Centre (Pusat Darah Negara) or associated hospitals.

Malaysia has high prevalence of chronic Hepatitis B compared to other Asian countries

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Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease.
The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.
More than 780 000 people die every year due to the consequences of hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is preventable with the currently available safe and effective vaccine.

4. Replenished blood cells

Your body makes about two million new red cells every second, so it doesn't take long to build up stores of them again. What about your white cells and platelets? A number of other messenger proteins also stimulate the production of these cells in the bone marrow, and over the next few days levels return to normal.

Donating blood depletes your body of red blood cells, forcing your bone marrow to create new ones. It’s kind of like the ‘refresh’ button in Internet browsers. Your body is refreshed, updated, and becomes better at doing things. You’re a new man/woman!

3. Reduced risk of cancer

Did you know: one blood donation can save three lives

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Cancer is arguably the disease that most people fear the most. And cancer is rising in Malaysia – there were 32,000 new cases in 2008 and 37,400 in 2012. As we consume unhealthy foods like processed meat and breathe in polluted air, our cancer risk increases from day to day. But if you consistently donate blood, you can lower your risk of cancer in the colon, stomach, lung, liver, and throat. You know what they say – it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

2. Reduced risk of heart disease

Heart disease has been the number one cause of death in Malaysia for the last 30 years. But don’t worry, there’s hope. Donating blood substantially cuts your risk of heart attacks and heart disease. Here’s how. Heart disease has been linked to your blood’s iron levels. Too much iron thickens your blood, causing it to damage your arteries in the long run. When you donate blood, you remove excess iron from your body, keeping your blood thin and manageable for your arteries.

1. The honour of saving lives and bringing us all together

If you're a healthy Malaysian and have yet to donate blood, sign up for the #kitasama blood donation drive

Image via AstroMalaysia

According to a survey by the National Blood Bank, many (Malaysians) come forward because of a genuine desire to help others. “I’m motivated by a sense of wanting to help others. If I were in the patient’s shoes, I hope others would do the same for me,” said retiree Low Cheng Har, 60, who has been a blood donor since 1994, adding that her husband and sons were also regular blood donors.

This is the most important reason to donate blood. Blood donations are great reminders that deep down we are all the same, we are all part of humanity. Our many social and cultural differences are irrelevant during medical situations where blood is needed. As we remember and celebrate our nation this Merdeka month, why not donate your blood for fellow Malaysians in need? After all, unity runs in our blood. The colour of our blood is the only colour that truly matters. We are all red underneath.

Show your commitment to a united Malaysia by donating blood at Astro’s #kitasama blood donation drive

Show your commitment to a united Malaysia by donating blood at Astro’s #Kitasama blood donation drive

Image via AstroMalaysia

Want to know how you can participate? Visit the Astro #kitasama website for all the details.

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