Blood is a precious resource. Researches have not been successful in finding a suitable alternative to blood, as “Blood is the elixir of life”. This is especially true, when a person in acute need of blood gets it in time.
The paradox that surrounds the blood as a resource is “it being readily available and abundant, it is scarce”. This very well suits with the Indian scenario. Though India is the second largest human resource in the world, we are annually in deficit of two million blood units, according to WHO.
According to WHO, India suffers from an annual deficit of two million blood units, as only 1% of the Indian Population donates every year.
There is no man-made substitute for blood produced in the human body. Donating blood is a simple and selfless act which helps save lives eventually. When an individual decides to donate one unit of their blood, it helps save 3 lives approximately. The entire process takes about 10-15 minutes, but before donating blood, one must understand all the relevant facts pertaining to blood donation.
Every year, several people battle for their lives due to lack of blood or having a rare blood type for treating diseases and conditions. Some require blood during surgery and others may need it after an accident or because they have a disease that requires blood components.
Every blood donor continues to be both a life saviour and a life changer.
What is the process of Blood Donation?
Any healthy adult between the age of 18 to 65 years of age can donate blood. Knowing what to expect before, during, and after Blood donation can help prepare for the process:
- Donation centre: An individual can walk into a reputed and safe blood donation centre or a mobile camp organised by a reputed organisation or a hospital.
- Filling patient information forms: Usually the donor is asked to fill out some forms and answer general questions related to medical and donation history.
- Medical screening: The donor will be asked to undergo a physical check to determine his temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin content in blood to ensure that the donor is healthy.
- Test approval: Once the donor is found to be healthy and fulfill donor criteria, the donor will be asked to lie down on a resting chair or a bed and the arm will be thoroughly cleaned.
- Blood collection procedure: With the use of sterile equipment’s, approximately 350 ml of blood will be collected in a special plastic bag. Individuals weighing more than 55 Kgs can donate 450ml of blood.
- Relax after the blood donation: After the donation of blood, the individual must relax for a few minutes and consume a refreshing drink or light snack.
- Donation interval:The minimum time advised between two donations is 3 months for males and 4 months for females. This time gap allows blood to regain the normal hemoglobin count.
- Blood processing: The donated blood will then be separated into blood components (RBC, Platelets and Plasma) within eight hours of donation and simultaneously will be tested for Transfusion transmitted infections (HIV, HBV, HCV, Malaria and Syphilis).
- Storage: Once found safe, it will be kept in special storage and released for patients as and when required.
Who cannot donate blood?
The below mentioned category of people must avoid donating blood:
- Pregnant or lactating women or those who have recently had an abortion.
- Systemic Diseases: Individuals suffering from systemic diseases like Blood disorders, Heart, Kidney, Liver, Thyroid, Asthma, Cancer, Diabetes, uncontrolled high Blood Pressure.
- On medication: Individuals who are on steroids, hormonal supplements or certain specific medication.
- Individuals having multiple sexual partners
- Drug Addicts must not donate blood.
- Individuals who have undergone surgery in the past 6 months for minor procedure and 1 year for major surgery.
- Alcohol consumption: Individuals who have consumed alcohol in the 24 hours prior to donation.
- Menstruating women should avoid donation during their menstruation period.
- Individuals suffering from infections transmitted through transfusions like HIV, Hepatitis, Syphilis, etc, should not donate blood.
- Those who have undergone various vaccinations should avoid donation for the corresponding period:
COVID-19 Safety precautions and protocols for Blood Donors
At Yashoda Hospitals, patient and staff safety will remain paramount at all times. Right from the entry point till the exit, we ensure safety protocols and follow precautionary measures and provide access to safe and quality healthcare. We follow;
- Thermal screening and hand sanitisation at entrances
- Social distancing blocks inside Blood bank and all patient areas
- Mask, shield, and gloves for doctors, technicians and all staff
- Disinfection protocols for high touch points and surfaces
- Sterilisation protocols for equipments before and after use
- Strict hand rub regime
What precautions should be taken before donating Blood?
Before donating, the donor must do the following;
- Take good rest/sleep
- Drink sufficient amount of fluids
- Have a healthy meal prior to the appointment.
What precautions should be taken by the donor after Blood donation?
- Drink lots of fluids for the next 24 hours.
- Avoid smoking for 4 hours and drinking alcohol for the next 24 hours.
- Don’t use an elevator to go up immediately after donation since blood will rush to the feet and make one feel dizzy.
- Avoid strenuous exercises and activities for the day.
- If the donor feels dizzy, it is best to lie down with their feet up until the feeling passes.
- Can remove the band-aid after 4 hours.
- If there is bleeding after removing the bandage, put pressure on the site (prick area) and raise the arm until the bleeding stops.
What are the health benefits of donating blood?
Blood donation not only contributes significantly to a recipient’s life, but also helps the donor to maintain good health. Health benefits to the donor of blood donation are:
- A regular health check up is automatically done and free of cost, This allows the donors to be warned of any underlying medical condition or risk factors for certain diseases.
- Boosts the production of red blood cells and replenishes blood.
- Regular blood donation (2-3 times in a year) helps lower cholesterol and decreases incidence of heart attacks.
- Helps boost Heart & Liver health.
- Lowers risk of cancer.
- Balances iron level in the blood.
- Provides a sense of belonging and makes the donor feel psychologically rejuvenated.
- Platelets are small, disc-shaped cells that aid in blood clotting.
- They are donated most often to cancer patients, organ recipients and those undergoing heart surgeries.
- Patients who need platelets often require multiple transfusions. That’s why it’s so important to donate as often as you can.
- Platelets do not last long. They have a shelf life of just 5 days.
- Those who have A, A-negative, B, B-negative, AB or AB-negative blood types are strongly encouraged to donate platelets.
- Donors are connected to a machine that separates platelets and some plasma from the blood and returns the red cells (and most of the plasma) back to the donor.
- Donating platelets takes approximately 90 minutes.
- You can donate platelets every 7 days, up to 24 times a year.
- Plasma is the light yellow liquid in your blood that makes up 50% of total blood volume. It contains proteins that help control bleeding and fight infections.
- It’s used to treat various types of bleeding disorders. It’s also given to patients who have suffered major traumatic injuries.
- Plasma can be frozen for up to a year.
- If you have type AB blood, you are a universal plasma donor.
- People who have blood types AB, AB-negative, A, A-negative, B or B-negative also are ideal donors for platelets.
- Donors are connected to a machine that separates out plasma and returns red cells to the body.
- Plasma donation takes about 40 minutes.
- You may donate plasma every 28 days.
It’s important to know your blood type—whether you’re a donor or a patient in need of blood products. You may be surprised to learn how many people will benefit from your generous gift, no matter what type you have.
Everyone who is eligible can donate blood, but depending on your blood type, you’re only able to receive certain types of blood, plasma or platelets.
There are eight different blood types, and they’re not always compatible with each other. Interestingly, people who have O-negative blood are considered universal donors for the entire population.
Can Donate To
Can Receive From
|O+||O, A, B, AB||O, O-|
|A+||A, AB||A, A-, O, O-|
|A-||A, A-, AB, AB-||A-, O-|
|B+||B, AB||B, B-, O, O-|
|B-||B, B-, AB, AB-||B-, O-|
|AB-||AB, AB-||AB-, A-, B-, O-|
Plasma & Platelet
When it comes to blood components, compatibility is the opposite of whole blood. Donors with Type AB blood are the universal donors of platelets and plasma.
Can Donate To
Can Receive From
|A||A, A-, O, O-||A, A-, AB, AB-|
|A-||A, A-, O, O-||A, A-, AB, AB-|
|B||B, B-, O, O-||B, B-, AB, AB-|
|B-||B, B-, O, O-||B, B-, AB, AB-|
Why Your Donation Matters
There are no substitutes for blood, platelets or plasma—they cannot be manufactured. Patients in need of blood or blood products must rely on donations from people like you. Those who are hesitant about donating blood for the first time often find that the donation process is easy and that saving lives is deeply gratifying.
One donation can save multiple lives. Here are the facts:
- Just 1 donation can save up to 3 lives.
- The average red blood cell transfusion is 3 pints (or 3 whole-blood donations).
- More than 1 million people every year are diagnosed with cancer for the first time. Many of them will need blood—sometimes daily—during chemotherapy.
- More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
- Type O-negative whole blood can be transfused to people with any blood type, but this type of blood is rare, and supplies of it are low.
- Type AB plasma can be transfused to patients with all other blood types, but it’s also in short supply.
- While 38% of the American population is eligible to give blood, only 2% actually donates.