Donate-Blood-Save-Life
blood donation
Donate blood (Source: Nysenate.gov)

Have you ever donated blood / been a part of blood donation campaign?

Yes?

Kudos, you just saved 3 lives. How does it feel? We’ll arrive at this later.

No?

This article, my friend, I dedicate to you. Whatever be the reason of your ‘No,’ here, I intend to make you ponder over it otherwise.

Why is Blood Donation Important?

Blood is one thing that cannot be manufactured. It is only available through blood donation. This very well explains its scarcity these days. Blood donation is hence, a necessity.

[ctt template=”11″ link=”uE0s6″ via=”no” ]One pint of blood can save three lives #donateblood[/ctt]

Blood once donated is separated into components- Packed Red Blood cells (PRBCs), Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFPs), Platelet concentrates and CryoprecipitateIn various medical conditions, the required blood component is used.

Let me highlight a few conditions:

  • Most common being the RTAs (Road Traffic Accidents). Many pints of blood are required in such hit-and-run cases. We all are very well aware of such emergencies. PRBCs are used in such cases.
  • In case of major surgeries, for example, open heart surgery, blood transfusion is mandatory. In all other surgeries, blood is reserved just in case if required.
  • In obstetric surgeries like C-section, blood is always kept ready, because any circumstance can cause both the mother and the baby to bleed to death within no time.
  • In conditions like severe anemia- PRBCs used.
  • Inherited blood disorders like Thalassemia require blood transfusion of little kids every month.
  • Leukemia a.k.a blood cancer.
  • Platelet deficiency like Thrombocytopenia, ITP, etc. – Platelet concentrates used.
  • Infectious diseases like Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever- Platelet concentrates used.
  • Bleeding disorders like HemophiliaCryoprecipitate used.
  • Burns cases- FFPs used.
  • And many, many more.

Now you know, the requirement and the supply of blood are two far ends. All attempts are being made to meet the demand. I, being a medical practitioner, am aware of the hardships a patient party faces in arranging blood in times of emergencies. If only, more people are aware of blood transfusion and its significance, there can be a ray of hope in those hearts.

Facts About Blood Transfusion You Should Know-

blood donation

  • There are two systems in blood groups- ABO typing and Rh typing. As per ABO, there are four blood groups- A, B, AB & O. As per Rh-2, types among them are Rh positive and Rh negative. We all know our own blood groups, don’t we?
  • Type O is a universal donor while type AB is the universal recipient. However, in the practical scenario, we prefer to transfuse blood of the same blood group in all cases unless in dire emergencies.
  • Once a person donates blood, it undergoes several tests to in order to assure the person is fit for transfusion. 

 

Tests include:

Serology testing-HIV ELISA test, HBsAg and VDRL tests to prevent the spread of various diseases.

Malarial Parasite testing.

Blood Compatibility testing– cross match sample of the patient is tested beforehand with the donor’s blood sample to prevent any transfusion reactions.

blood donation
Blood donation drive

Who Can Donate Blood?

There are a certain set of criteria laid down for a person to donate blood, both for his wellness and for the recipient’s benefit.  You can donate blood if:

  • You are between 17-60 years age group and you are fit to donate blood.
  • You are free of HIV, Hepatitis B or C.
  • You weigh 50kgs or more.
  • You are healthy and free of ailments.

Do Not Donate Blood if-

  • You are pregnant or lactating or had an abortion in last 3 months.
  • You are menstruating five days before or after your menses.
  • You have consumed alcohol within 24 hours of blood donation.
  • You smoked at least one hour before donation.
  • You’ve had Malaria in the past 6 months.
  • You’ve taken any antibiotics in the past 72 hours.

These are some of the general guidelines. There are a lot more questions but that is taken care of while proving medical fitness during donation. More than donating blood, there needs to be an awareness and impulse to donate. Today’s society needs to develop a straight mindset to foresee the myths and feel the joy of donation.

Myths About Blood Donation:

Blood donation is not given due importance due to lack of awareness in this regard. People are discouraged from donating, because of half, concealed and mislead information.

  • It makes you weak”– the most common and mislead saying. We all have heard it from the elders, isn’tblood donationit? I want to throw some light on the facts. We have around 10 pints of blood in our body. During donation, roughly 1 pint is taken than can save up to 3 lives. Of course, blood is taken from your body but it will take hardly a day or two to replenish that fluid volume by our body systems. It doesn’t make you weak and you can resume your day-to-day routine within few hours.
  • “Frequent blood donations serve as a negative impact on your own health” A healthy person can donate blood up to 4 times in a year with a 3-month gap in between donations. It doesn’t deteriorate your health if you have healthy eating habits.
  • Blood donation is stressful and painful– Stressful? Painful? No way. Once you are aware of the do’s and don’t, these myths can be abandoned. The stress is all due to the associated myths. Talking about pain, all you feel is that one prick of the needle, after which it is just a matter of 10-15 minutes.
blood donation
Source: Redcrossblood.org, Mayoclinic.org, Americasblood.org

Do’s and Don’ts on the day of Blood Donation:

  • Eat your breakfast. Do not donate blood on an empty stomach. Have a meal at least 2-4 hours prior to blood donation.
  • If you are a regular donor, make sure you have a 3 months gap with your last donation. It takes 3 months for our packed cells to get replenished after a donation.
  • After donating blood, take fluids. Hydrate yourself. This is the reason blood donation camps provide fruit juices to the donors after donation. The dehydration due to the fluid loss can make you feel dizzy as it lowers your blood pressure. Drink plenty of water and juices to keep your body hydrated throughout the day to prevent low BP.

Blood Donation is a selfless act that can save so many lives. It is all for a noble cause. For once, we all should rise above our personal tensions and think beyond it. There is so much more to this world than just money. That feeling of having saved a life gets etched in your heart forever. There is so much sorrow and regret everywhere but there is also a hope. Let’s be that hope in someone’s gloomy day. Let’s be that ray of sunshine. After all, ‘Blood connects us all– the tagline of WHO on World Blood Donor Day, 2016.

blood donation

Feel free to comment below in case of any queries or confusions related to blood donation. Stay Tuned!

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