ABOUT VOLUNTARY BLOOD DONATION
The need for blood is vital.
8 out of 10 people may need blood or blood products at some time in their lives.
1 out of every 10 patients in the hospital requires a blood transfusion.
The number of blood donations that patients receive depends on their medical condition. Although an average of three donations is transfused to a patient, some patients require many more.
Blood transfusion saves lives and improves health, but many patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood.
A unit is about 480ml of donated blood. The average adult has between 4 and 5 liters of blood in his or her body, and can easily spare one unit. Every person belongs to one of the four ABO blood group types (A, B, AB, or O).
In addition to these ABO blood groups, people’s red blood cells consist of many other antigens as part of their red cell structure.
Types of blood donorsThere are 3 types of blood donors:
- Voluntary unpaid
These are also the safest group of blood donors as the prevalence of blood-borne infections is lowest among this group.
Who needs Blood?Blood is in constant demand for the treatment of patients involved in accidents, patients with cancer, leukemia, or with a bleeding disorder such as haemophilia among others.
Many surgical operations would not be possible without the availability of blood. Blood may be needed during or following childbirth or for an exchange transfusion in newborn babies.The need for blood never stops.
Women with pregnancy-related complications, patients with cancer, burns, and victims of traumatic injuries also need safe blood.
Statistics show that women use at least 53 percent of the blood that is collected, while men use only about 47 percent. With the recent wave of terrorism, bomb blasts, suicide bombing, etc., there is now a serious demand for blood to treat emergency cases.
Tips for Safe Blood Donation
Blood donors save lives. Every blood donation gives the person who receives it a new chance at life.
There are no risks when donating blood.
A finger prick test is performed to ascertain if your hemoglobin level is within a safe range for donation purposes.
Your pulse rate and blood pressure will also be checked.
Benefits of Blood DonationPeople are often reluctant to donate blood voluntarily but here are a few benefits of giving blood:
- You will receive a mini-physical check for:- Blood pressure, Body temperature, Hemoglobin level
- Your Blood Group and Genotype will also be screened for at no cost to you
- Through regular blood donation, iron stores in your body are maintained at healthy levels
Who can Donate?Anyone between the ages of 16 and 65 years.
Anyone who weighs at least 50kg and who has not donated blood within the previous 56 days.
Other criteria as stipulated in your city or country may include smoking history, presence of tattoos and body piercings, social behaviour that predisposes to spread of blood transmissible diseases which may make on inelegible as a blood donor.
The strict criteria applied to the selection of blood donors are designed to protect the health of both the blood donor and the recipient.
How Often Can One Donate Blood?After giving blood, a person must wait at least 56 days before donating again. Most people can comfortably donate blood every three months which is equal to four donations per year. Women of childbearing age are advised to give no more than three donations per year at four month intervals.
It takes only about 10 minutes to donate blood. Regular donation by voluntary blood donors helps to ensure the availability of blood wherever and whenever it is required.
10 minutes of your time could be all it takes to save a life!