SAFE BLOOD, SAVE LIVES!

Blood donation is a vital part of worldwide healthcare, and the only way of acquiring blood for blood transfusion as a life-sustaining and life-saving procedure which improves the life expectancy and quality of life of patients from road traffic accidents, complications of pregnancy and childbirth, various anemic disorders, and surgical emergencies is through voluntary blood donation.

Hence this article, 7 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU DONATE BLOOD provides information on the vital role of voluntary blood donors and frequently asked questions in fostering a culture of voluntary blood donation. 

  1. WHY BLOOD DONATION FROM VOLUNTARY BLOOD DONORS

Globally, over 100 million units of blood are donated each year, but only two million units are donated in sub-Saharan Africa where the need is enormous.

The vision is to achieve 100% voluntary non-remunerated blood donation in every country of the world.

This vision is based on the recognition that voluntary non-remunerated blood donors are the foundation of a safe and sustainable blood supply.

Without a system based on voluntary unpaid blood donation, particularly, regular voluntary blood donation, no country can provide sufficient blood for all patients who require transfusion.

 

    2. THE CRITERIA FOR VOLUNTARY BLOOD DONATION

The criteria for blood donation vary from country to country. This includes:

The age range of 18-55 years

Body weight above 55Kg

Healthy male or female with no known blood condition or infection

 

       3. FREQUENCY OF VOLUNTARY BLOOD DONATION

The frequency of blood donation varies between females and males 

Males can donate blood every three months (90 days), while

Females can donate blood every four months (120days).

 

      4. HOW MUCH BLOOD WILL BE TAKEN DURING DONATION?

During a regular donation, you will give around 450ml of whole blood. This is about 8% of the average adult's blood volume.

The body replaces this volume within 24 to 48 hours and replenishes red blood cells in 10 to 12 weeks (56 days).

 

      5. IS IT SAFE TO DONATE BLOOD?

Blood donation is safe.

New, sterile disposable equipment is used for each donor, so there's no risk of contracting a bloodborne infection by donating blood.

If you're a healthy adult, you can usually donate a pint (about 450mls) of blood without endangering your health

 

      6. WHICH BLOOD TYPES ARE NEEDED FOR TRANSFUSION?

All blood types are needed for blood transfusion.

Blood groups A, B, AB, and O; could be O positive and O negative.

This means everyone who meets the criteria can be a VOLUNTARY BLOOD DONOR.

 

       7. WHO SHOULD NOT DONATE BLOOD?

A voluntary blood donor MUST BE in good health at the time you donate. 

You cannot donate if you have a cold, flu, sore throat, cold sore, stomach bug, or any other infection.

You cannot donate if you are pregnant, or breastfeeding.

You cannot donate if you have recently had a tattoo or body piercing until after 6 months from the date of the procedure.

 

This publication is part of TRAUMA CARE INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION (TCIF) advocacy briefs under the SAFE BLOOD, SAVE LIVES series. 

For more information about our Voluntary Blood Donation Initiatives (VBDI),

Call: 0808 678 3416 or 0808 584 9338

Email: blooddrive@traumacareinternational.org,

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