Blood Donation- All You Need To Know.

Blood Donation

Blood donation is a voluntary, selfless and most painless way to help save life of others, may it be in your community or victims of a disaster far from home. Being a blood donor can be helpful to you, too. . 

WHO CAN DONATE BLOOD? 

There are several parameters that determine the eligibility of an individual to donate blood. Guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Health, Government of India must be followed by blood banks and organizations conducting blood donation camps 

·Overall health- The donor must be fit and healthy and should not be suffering from transmittable diseases.

· Age and weight- The donor must be 18–65 years old and should weigh a minimum of 50 kg.

·Pulse rate- Between 50 and 100 without irregularities.

·Hemoglobin level- A minimum of 12.5 g/dL.

·Blood pressure- Diastolic: 60–90 mm Hg, Systolic: 100–140 mm Hg.

·Body temperature- Should be normal, with an oral temperature not exceeding 37.5 °C.

·The time period between successive blood donations should be more than 3 months.

Individuals under certain conditions are deemed ineligible to donate blood: 

·A person who has been tested HIV positive.

·Individuals suffering from ailments like cardiac arrest, hypertension, blood pressure, cancer, epilepsy, kidney ailments and diabetes.

·A person who has undergone ear/body piercing or tattoo in the past 6 months.

·Individuals who have undergone immunization in the past 1 month.

·Individuals treated for rabies or received Hepatitis B vaccine in the past 6 months.

·A person who has consumed alcohol in the past 24 hours.

·Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

·Individuals who have undergone major dental procedures or general surgeries in the past 1 month.

·Women who have had miscarriage in the past 6 months.

·Individuals who have had fits, tuberculosis, asthma, and allergic disorders in the past.

How to prepare for donation? 

·Get plenty of sleep the night before you plan to donate.

·Eat a healthy meal and have more water/fluids before donation.

Before the procedure 

You will have a brief physical exam, which includes checking your blood pressure, pulse and temperature. A small sample of blood is taken from a finger prick and is used to check the oxygen-carrying component of your blood (hemoglobin level). If your hemoglobin concentration is normal and you’ve met all the other screening requirements, you can donate blood. 

During the procedure 

You lie or sit in a reclining chair with your arm extended on an armrest. A tourniquet is placed around your upper arm to fill your veins with more blood. This makes the veins easier to see and easier to insert the needle into. Then the skin on the inside of your elbow is cleaned. 

A new, sterile needle is inserted into a vein in your arm. This needle is attached to a thin, plastic tube and a blood bag. Once the needle is in place, you tighten your fist several times to help the blood flow from the vein. Blood is allowed to fill the bag, about a unit. When complete, the needle is removed, a small bandage is placed on the needle site and a dressing is wrapped around your arm. 

After the procedure 

After the donation is complete, you will need to sit in an observation area and are generally given a small snack and asked to rest for about 15 minutes and then you can leave. After blood donation- 

·Consume more fluids for a couple of days.

·Keep the bandage on your arm for at least a couple of hours.

·Avoid heavy physical activity for at least 5-7 hours.

Millions of people need blood transfusion each year, some might need it during a major surgery, or may be due to a medical condition or even in case of an accident and blood donation is what makes it possible to help such people. There is no substitution to human blood; all transfusions need blood from a donor 

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Rithika Rajgopal

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