- A donor should not be suffering from communicable diseases.
- The minimum prescribed weight is 50 kgs for an eligible donor.
- The minimum prescribed level for blood donation is 12.5 g/dL.
But as the number of patients requiring blood transfusion keeps increasing, the trouble for the Indian government to arrange units of blood grows more acute. In certain treatments like chemotherapy for cancer, patients need blood daily. Car accident victims may even require up to 100 units of blood. Additionally, blood can't be manufactured, so the only source of acquiring blood is through donation.
If you are considering donating blood to save one of the million patients battling for their life, here are a few things you should know first.
1. Donating blood is completely safe
New and sterile equipment is used for each donor when s/he donates blood, so it is impossible to acquire any communicable disease or infection through blood donation. The modern disposable needs are replaced with new ones with every donor. Also, there is no dizziness or weakness felt after you donate blood. This is primarily because blood is only 7% of your body's weight.
Also Read: Do You Stop Yourself From Donating Blood? Debunking Top 6 Myths About Blood Donation
2. You can donate whole blood or its specific components
There are 4 types of components in blood. These are red cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate. Each of these, except cryoprecipitate can be derived from a unit of blood donated. Since patients in general only need a specific component of blood, potentially, each pint can save 3 lives. The process of donating components is called apheresis.
3. Only type O negative blood can be transfused to blood types
Extremely helpful in emergency situations, this type of blood is called the universal donor blood. This is because O negative blood type has no proteins in its red blood cells, meaning that it can be accepted by everyone with no chances of rejection. This is also the safest for newborn infants. But only 6.6% of the world population has this blood type.
4. Blood donation eligibility
According to guidelines by the Ministry of Health there are 6 important parameters that determine whether you are eligible to donate blood. These are:
- The minimum prescribed weight is 50 kgs for an eligible donor. S/he should be between 18-60 years of age.
- You should have normal body temperature with oral temperature not exceeding 37.5 degree celsius.
- The person should not be suffering from communicable diseases, HIV, ailments like cancer and diabetes or tuberculosis, asthma, rabies, etc.
- The minimum prescribed haemoglobin level for blood donation is 12.5 g/dL.
- You should have a pulse rate between 50 to 100 without irregularities.
- Eligible donors are ones with a diastolic BP between 50-100 mm Hg, and Systolic BP between 100-180 mm Hg.
5. You have to wait for 56 days to donate again
Donors who donate whole blood have to weight for a minimum of 8 weeks before donating blood again. This is because the body takes a long time to reproduce enough quality of red blood cells, However, the plasma is recreated only within a span of few hours. So platelet donors may donate them again after 7 days. Additionally, if you are donating red blood cells, you will have to wait for 16 weeks for another donation.
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