In 2013, more than 4.5 million Americans alone will require a blood transfusion, says MarketWatch.
That’s what makes year-round blood donation a critical way to give back to others.
But before you roll up your sleeve in anticipation of that orange juice and cookie you’ll get after donation, give your own health a thought.
Two circumstances where you’re not allowed to donate blood…
There’s a risk of fainting after donating blood if you have a low weight. That’s because the amount of blood your body contains is related to your weight and height.
So if standard donation would count as too high a proportion of your total blood volume, you’re not allowed to donate.
To donate ‘whole’ blood, most people need to weigh at least 45kg. To donate plasma or platelets, on the other hand, you’ll need to weigh at least 50kg, says DonateBlood.
And remember while that lesbians are allowed to donate blood, men who have sex with men (MSM) are still banned from donating blood, says GBTimes. While some see this as discriminatory, there is a valid health reason for it.
Here’s why men who have sex with men (MSM) aren’t allowed to donate blood
Because compared to lesbians, men who have sex with men are more vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS, which can be passed on through a blood donation.
That’s why they’re not allowed to donate blood.
So if you don’t fall into one of these prohibited categories, donate blood today – you could just save a life!