National Blood Donor Month

This January, the American Red Cross celebrates the annual National Blood Donor Month in recognition of the contributions of blood and platelet donors in saving many lives. The Red Cross also encourages individuals to donate blood.

national blood donor month

Did you know that when you donate blood, you don’t just help the recipient? Here are some of the ways you can benefit from this humanitarian act.

  1. Free Health Check-up
    Generally, only individuals who are healthy can donate blood. Before every blood donation process, individuals who wish to donate blood are asked to undergo a series of health check-ups for free. This will help them detect blood pressure abnormalities and other signs of early diseases. Furthermore, blood donors are also provided with free blood analysis. Once the blood is donated, it is tested for certain infections such as HIV 1 and 2, Hepatitis B and C. Blood donors can opt to be informed about any abnormality found in those screening tests.
  2. Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
    Every individual needs iron to assist with the distribution of oxygen around the body. However, excessive iron has a significant impact on the hardening of arteries. When you donate blood, you are getting rid of 225 to 250 milligrams of iron from your body, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. Beyond heart disease, iron overload can also lead to liver disease, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, and more. So iron depletion for those who have too much in their system is certainly not a bad thing.
  3. Burns Calories
    While we don’t recommend blood donation for weight loss, it can be a side perk! According to the University of California, individuals burn approximately 650 calories per donation of one pint of blood. So you don’t have to feel guilty about not making it to the gym on blood donation days. (Be aware, though, that donors must weigh at least 110 pounds).

To learn more about donating blood and the donation process, go to this link:

About The Author

Stuart H. Agren, M.D.

Stuart H. Agren, M.D. completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed additional training at L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and then established his private medical practice starting in 1975. Dr. Agren completed a mini-residency in Industrial Medicine at the Robert Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University and also completed training to become a certified Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Agren was the Medical Director at TRW and McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona and at Stauffer Chemical and Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.

In his private medical practice, Dr. Agren specialized in family practice and allergy. In his work as a private practice allergist, he was one of the first doctors in the country to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy to his patients as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). He has also been a trailblazer in the field of food allergy treatment and research, developing a program to treat multiple food allergies simultaneously using sublingual immunotherapy. Dr. Agren has been featured on local CBS, NBC, and ABC news affiliates and won the peer-nominated “Top Doc” award from Phoenix Magazine.

After 20 years in private practice, Dr. Agren became the Founder and President of AllergyEasy, which helps primary care physicians around the country offer allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy treatment to their patients. Over 200 physicians in over 32 states use the AllergyEasy program to help their patients overcome environmental and food allergies and asthma.