Blood is the basic lifeline that supports the basic human body’s existence and functioning on a regular basis. Blood makes up around 7% of one’s body weight and thus is made up of 2 parts, one that is a liquid called plasma and the other that is made of platelets, RBC and WBCs. Blood forms the major part of the cardiovascular or circulatory system and helps in the transfer of nutrients and Oxygen to the cells. We are naturally born with blood within our bodies and the amount of blood varies with age and gender with on average being 5liters.
Many patients in their course of treatment against an illness or during complications in treatment or pregnancy may require blood from another person to replace the amount of blood lost. Hence blood transfusion is done. Now, this blood is usually donated immediately by a closely related family member or acquaintance, but in most cases, hospitals have a ready supply of blood for any emergency cases. Blood is tested before complete transfusion to ensure the blood is free from any major setbacks like pathogens and lack of hemoglobin, etc.
Who can donate blood?
Depending on the receiver’s blood group, blood is taken from the volunteering person. It should be noted that it is preferred both the patient and the volunteer have the same blood group unless the volunteer is a person with blood group O –ve, which is called a Universal Blood Donor, thereby can donate blood to anyone under emergency.
Age is another major factor here, with people only between ages 18 and 65 being allowed to donate blood. Under some unique circumstances, 16 or 17-year-olds are also allowed to donate blood.
Body weight also plays an important role here, as being underweight may render the volunteer to have episodes of fainting during the blood donation process.
The volunteer must have no recent or current illnesses. Any such illness or disorder needs to be informed well in advance by the doctors, including any STDs.
It is not allowed to give blood during pregnancy and even after pregnancy it’s recommended to wait for 9 months before donating blood, under Indian rules it is 1-year post birth and stopped lactating.
No skin punctures or scars or wounds on the body indicate drug usage.
No recent immunization and vaccination from diseases like rabies, cholera, typhoid etc.
No tattoos since the last 1 year.
The donor should not have any heart disease or diabetes
The donor should have a normal body temperature and pulse.
In a regular blood donation around 450ml or 500ml of blood (not more) is donated. This comes to be around 8% of the total blood volume. The body then takes around 1-2 days to replenish this donated blood. It’s always suggested that a goodnights sleep and eating a good meal before transfusion is the best way to go ahead.
It is also well established in numerous studies that regular blood donations are linked to lower cardiovascular disorders and also lowers blood pressure.
There are a few types of blood transfusion that are done according to the necessity of the patient in need,
Whole blood Donation – Here the entire components of blood i.e., red and white cells, plasma and platelets are taken. A donor must wait 56 days before once again volunteering to donate blood.
Plasma Donation – Here only plasma is taken from the blood. A donor must wait 28 days before once again volunteering to donate plasma.
Platelet Donation – Here only platelets are taken from the blood. A donor must wait 7 days before once again volunteering to donate platelets.
Red cell Donation – Here only red cells are taken from the blood. A donor must wait 100 days before once again volunteering to donate Red cells
There are immense shortages of blood types like O-ve and AB throughout the world and only a handful of people donate blood leading to these shortages in blood centers and hospitals thereby leading to a complication during treatment and surgery. The sad thing is that there is no other alternative to blood that can be used to save lives.
DONATE BLOOD & SAVE LIVES.
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