• Consumer Health: The lifesaving need for blood donation

a graphic illustration of a bag of donated blood, with the tubing forming a valentine heart

Save a life: Donate blood
January is National Blood Donor Month, which makes this a good time to learn more about blood donation. Each year, millions of people need a blood transfusion, and the need knows no season. Some may need blood during surgery. Others depend on it after an accident or because they have a disease that requires blood components. Blood donation makes all of this possible. There is no substitute for human blood. All transfusions use blood from a donor. Help save a life today by donating blood.


Also in today's tips ...

Slideshow: Portion control for weight loss
Portion size matters. Research has shown that people consistently eat more food when offered larger portions. So portion control is important when you're trying to lose weight and keep it off. But judging portion sizes can be challenging. Check out this slideshow for examples of everyday objects that relate to healthy portion sizes.

Opioids and other drugs: What to watch for
Many drugs can interact negatively with opioid medications. Opioid medications affect your brain and may make you sleepy. Mixing these medications with other drugs can heighten these effects, leading to slowed breathing, decreased heart rate and a risk of death. Learn more from Dr. Carrie Krieger, a Mayo Clinic clinical pharmacist.

What's the best frequency for aerobic workouts?
Any type of aerobic activity contributes to cardiovascular fitness. Even dividing up your activity time, such as a few five-minute walks spread throughout the day, offers aerobic benefits. And longer, less frequent sessions of aerobic exercise have no clear advantage over shorter, more frequent sessions of activity. Learn more from Dr. Edward Laskowski, a Mayo Clinic physical medicine and rehabilitation physician and co-director of Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine.

Remedies for plugged ears
When you have a cold, you may experience a feeling of fullness or pressure in your ears that can be uncomfortable. This happens when your eustachian tubes, which run between your middle ear and the back of your nose, become obstructed. There are some simple self-care measures that may help. Learn more from Dr. Laura Orvidas, a Mayo Clinic otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon.

Related articles