Blood Donation is a process in which blood is donated by a person with his/her wish to save a life. It is a noble act that everyone should do as it can save a life. There is no harm in donating blood as our body can automatically regenerate the blood and recover the RBC's loss within a few days. But one should be careful while donating the blood and for this, you must be aware of some important facts regarding blood donation. Let us discuss some of them in detail.
Types of Blood Donation
There are different types of blood donations that help different people having different types of medical needs. Some of them are given below:-
1. Whole blood donation
In this type of donation, all the components of the blood i.e. Red blood cell (R.B.Cs), plasma, white blood cells (WBCs), platelets are donated by the donor.
In Apheresis, the donor’s body is attached to a special device and the blood is collected and from this blood, the components of blood like red blood cells, plasma, platelets are taken and rest unused components of the blood are transferred back to the body. Depending upon the components separated, there are different types of blood donation as follow:
3. Plasma Donation (Plasmapheresis)
In this type of donation, with the help of a special device plasma is separated from the other components and then the blood cells are returned in cycles to the donor’s body throughout the donation. Plasma is a liquid portion that is given to a patient whose body is unable to clot the blood i.e. his bleeding is not getting stop. Plasma contains many useful proteins and some substances like electrolytes that help the body to perform normal functions. Plasma is donated to a patient suffering from liver disease or severe bacterial infection.
4. Platelet Donation (Plateletpheresis)
Platelet Donation also called Plateletpheresis is the type of donation in which platelet is separated from other components of blood and both RBCs and plasma are given back to the donor in cycles. Platelets are very important to stop bleeding by forming the clot. Platelets are donated to a patient suffering from leukemia, undergoing chemotherapy or small babies suffering from serve infections.
5. Double Red Blood cell Donation
In Double Red Blood cell Donation, red blood cells are separated from other components of blood and both plasma and platelets are transferred back to the body in cycles with the help of a machine. Red blood cells carry oxygen and supply it to all body parts. RBCs are donated to a person having severe injury or Anemia.
Is there any risk of donating blood?
No, there is no risk in donating blood but some precautions should be taken like Sterilized disposable needles should be used and for each and every patient, new sterilized disposable needle should be use.
There is no risk of getting any blood-borne disease.
If you are an adult, you can donate one unit blood without any problem. Even your body will replace the blood loss due to donation within 24 hours and after several days RBCs will also get replaced.
Eligibility to Donate Blood
· Good health
A person with sound health can donate blood. So, if he wants to donate the blood, he should stay healthy.
· Age Limit
A person whose age is around 16 -17 years or above can donate the blood. Also, the Age limit for donating blood depends upon the laws of certain countries. Different countries have different laws regarding this.
A person whose weight is 110 pounds i.e. 50-55 kg or above can donate the blood.
· Physical Examination or health history assessment
A person should pass the physical examination or health history assessment and should not suffer from any serious disease e.g. Tuberculosis, some infection, etc.
Note:-Eligibility criteria may differ from center to center depending upon the area.
What should be done before blood donation?
· It is very important to eat food or something before donating blood
· Before blood donation, you should have plenty of sleep.
· Eat healthy meals the previous night of the day donor plan to donate the blood
· Do not eat fried or fast food like burgers, French fries or ice-creams, etc, as tests are taken to check any infection after the donation of blood and if a person has eaten fatty food, it may affect the report.
· Drink half-liter water
· A platelet donor should not take any anti-platelet medicine. But he may take other medicines like medicine for sugar, cholesterol or BP.
What is the Procedure?
The procedure for blood donation is very simple. Doctors simply inject the needle in the donor’s body and take out the blood. So, need not to worry.
What should be done after the donation?
· Take rest
· Eat some light snack
· After 15 minutes the donor may go.
What should be done after going home?
· Take Extra fluid i.e. Drink extra water for the next 1 or 2 days.
· Do not do any strenuous or heavy activity for 5 hours after blood donation like weight lifting or going to Gym. Give some time to body to get adapt
· If you feel giddy or have a light headache then lie down and put your legs up until you do not get the relief.
· Keep your bandage in your arm until it gets dry for 5 hours.
· If it is bleeding then remove the bandage and press it for 2-4 minutes, it will be cured. You can also apply a cold packet if it is bleeding or bruising for the first 24 hours.
· You can take a pain killer if it does not stop paining.
· Take only paracetamol within 24- 48 hours, only if required.
· Consult doctor, if you have any problem, e.g. you feel giddy and that is not getting cured or arm paining
· In some cases the needle may get injected in some other nerve instead of blood-nerve, this may lead to some complications. But in most of the cases, a trained person is injecting the needle so don’t worry as there will be fewer complications.
What is done after the blood donation?
After the blood donation, testing is done for the donated blood to determine the blood type i.e. to check if your blood is A, B, O or AB and to check the Rh factor i.e. RH negative and RH positive.
RH means there is a specific antigen found in blood and it is capable to produce an autoimmune reaction in the receiver’s body. This is necessary as there should not be any problem and blood doesn’t get contrast.
Blood is tested for blood-borne diseases i.e. for Hepatitis, HIV, sexually transmitted diseases. If everything is negative, only then blood is distributed to all the hospitals or clinics. In case, if anything is positive, then the concerned donor will be notified that he has a particular disease e.g. he is Hepatitis positive and should take the treatment from the doctor and the blood is discarded.
Note:-If you have any major disease, then you can’t donate the blood but if you have any chronic diseases like arthritis, diabetes, Hypertension, etc but in a controlled manner, then you can donate the blood.