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Donating Blood is Actually Healthy For You: Harlingen Medical Center Hosts Community Blood Drive

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Donating blood is a gift of life for the recipient, but, did you know there are perks to donating blood – for you, the donor? There are! According to medical research, when you donate blood – you increase the blood flow in your body, you receive a complimentary medical screening that can identify medical problems, and, you keep your iron levels balanced.

Harlingen Medical Center is teaming up with The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center for a Community Blood Drive to be held Wednesday, March 22, 2017, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at the hospital’s Main Lobby (located at 5501 S. Expressway 77 in Harlingen). The general public is invited to donate blood and anyone who does – will receive a free T-shirt! But, more importantly will receive the benefits of a donation.

Woman holding blood drive charity t-shirtThose who donate blood on a consistent basis throughout the year, research shows, tend to have better blood flow in a way that is less damaging to the lining of blood vessels and may result in fewer blockages of the arteries. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, blood donors are 88% less likely to suffer from a heart attack during their lifetime. Blood donations have also been linked to lesser chances of a stroke and cancers in regular donors.

Before you are allowed to donate blood, there are several questions you have to answer and have to submit to a blood work screening that includes: a physical that will measure your body temperature, your pulse, your blood pressure, and hemoglobin. Once you are identified as a good donor – your blood sample will be sent off to a laboratory to be tested. These tests include more than a dozen exams for infectious diseases. Should the lab work, from your sample, deliver a positive on any of the exams – you, the donor, are notified, so you can ensure to address the medical issue properly. These tests are not intended to have you skip your regular check-ups with your Primary Care Physician, but, at least they serve as peace of mind.

By most accounts, 5 grams of iron in your body is a good thing – mostly in red blood cells and bone marrow. About a quarter of a gram in iron is lost when someone donates blood, but, it is replaced in the weeks following your donation – based on the food you consume. This process of losing and regaining levels of iron is good thing for the body as too much iron may be bad for your blood vessels.

According to American Red Cross, one blood donation has the potential to save as many as three lives.

Harlingen Medical Center and The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center remind all potential donors that they must be at least 18-years of age, weigh at least 110-pounds, eat before making a donation, be in good health, and provide proper identification at the time of registration. According to STBTC, blood can be donated every three months.

All those who donate blood will receive a free gift. To learn more about the Harlingen Medical Center and South Texas Blood & Tissue Center Community Blood Drive, please contact the Harlingen Medical Center Business Development & Marketing Department at 956-365-1888, or at