Blood donation is a voluntary procedure. Thus blood will be drawn from you so that it can be given to someone who needs a blood transfusion. Millions of patients need blood transfusions. Some patients may need blood during surgery. Others need blood after an accident or because they have a disease which requires blood components. Thus blood donation makes all these possible.
Why donate blood?
There is tremendous demand for blood in hospitals. Many patients die because they are not able to cope with the loss of blood. The blood donated is used to:
Who can donate blood?
- Replace blood lost during injury as in accidents.
- Replace blood loss during major surgeries.
- Help patients with blood disorders like haemophilia survive.
- Help burnt patients receive plasma that may be critical for their survival.
- Raise haemoglobin levels (through transfusions) in patients with chronic ailments like kidney diseases, cancer and anaemia.
Some basic health conditions have to be met by donors. A donor should:
Who should not donate blood?
- Be above 18 years and below 60 years of age.
- Be in good health.
- Have a haemoglobin count that is not less than 12.5 g/dl
- Weigh not less than 45 kgs.
- Have normal body temperature at the time of donation.
- Have normal blood pressure at the time of donation.
- Should be free of any disease at the time of donation.
- The donor should not have taken any medicine in the last 48 hours.
- The donor should not have contacted jaundice in the previous three years.
The following categories of people should avoid donating blood:
How long does the process of donation take?
- Pregnant or lactating women, or those who have recently had an abortion.
- Persons who are on steroids, hormonal supplements or certain specified medication.
- Persons with multiple sexual partners or those who are addicted to drugs.
- Persons who have had an attack of infection like jaundice, rubella, typhoid or malaria.
- Persons who have undergone surgery in the previous six months.
- Persons who have consumed alcohol in the 48 hours prior to donation.
- Women should avoid donation during their menstruating period.
- Persons with any systemic disease like heart disease, kidney disease, liver problems, blood disorders or asthma should NOT donate blood.
- Persons suffering from infections transmitted through transfusions like HIV, Hepatitis, Syphilis etc should not donate blood.
Only 350 ml of blood is taken at the time of donation. An average person has 5-6 litres of blood in the body. In terms of volume the loss is corrected in 24-48 hours by the body. The red cell count is corrected in about 56 days.
The actual bleeding time is about 5-6 minutes. There will be a medical check up before this and you will be advised some rest (for 5-10 minutes) and given some refreshment after donation. The whole process takes about 30 minutes.
How often can one donate blood?
The minimum time advised between two donations is 3 months. This gap helps blood regain the normal haemoglobin count.
What are the precautions that need to be taken?
Ones health will not suffer because of blood donation. In fact, the bone marrow is stimulated to produce new cells. However, if conditions are not hygienic, one may get exposed to infection.
Please ensure that disposable needles are used for blood collection.
How is blood grouped?
The blood is screened for the following diseases/infections before grouping:
The blood is grouped and stored either as whole blood or as components like packed red blood cells, plasma or platelets. This is then sent on demand to hospitals. Blood is composed of cells suspended in a liquid. The liquid portion is the plasma, from which therapeutic fractions and derivatives are made.
- Hepatitis B & C
Suspended in the plasma are three types of cells:
The most common type of grouping is the ABO grouping. Red blood cells have a protein coat on their surface, which distinguishes them. According to this blood is divided into four groups: A (A protein is present), B (B protein is present), AB (AB protein is present) and O (no protein is present).
- Red cells: these carry oxygen
- White cells: these fight infection
- Platelets: these stop wounds bleeding
There are subtypes under this grouping (listed as A1, A2, A1B or A2B) some of which are quite rare. Apart from this there is another protein, which plays an important part in the grouping of blood. This is called the Rh factor. If this is present, the particular blood type is called positive. If it is absent, it is called negative. Thus we have the following broad categories:
Tips on Blood Donation
- A1 Negative
- A1 Positive
- A1B Negative
- A1B Positive
- A2 Negative
- A2 Positive
- A2B Negative
- A2B Positive
- B Negative
- B Positive
- O Negative
- O Positive
Misconception about Donating Blood
- Please have a good meal at least 3 hours before donating blood.
- Please accept the snacks offered after the donation. It is recommended to have a good meal later.
- Please avoid smoking on the day before donating. One can smoke 3 hours after donation.
- One is not eligible to donate blood if you have consumed alcohol 48 hours before donation.
- You will not feel drained or tired if you continue to drink fluids and have a good meal.
- You can resume your normal activities after donating blood, though you are asked to refrain from exercise or heavy weight lifting for twelve hours after donation.
- Donating blood will not leave you low of blood; in fact you will still have surplus blood after the donation.
- While donating blood you will not feel any pain.
- You will not faint or feel uncomfortable after donating blood. This is a common misconception.
- You will not get AIDS if you donate blood.
- Patients are just like donors - most of them have common blood types. Because your blood type is common, the demand for that type is greater than for rare types. So, even if your blood type is common there is still a requirement.
- Blood donation is safe. New, sterile disposable equipment is used for each donor. Consequently, there is no risk of contracting a bloodborne infection by donating blood.
- Within 24 hours of a blood donation, your body replaces the lost fluids. In a few weeks, your body replaces the lost red blood cells.
GIFT OF LIFE: BLOOD
Everyday, we come across numerous accidents, life-saving surgeries, transplants and cardiac bypass surgeries, which essentially need human blood for patients' survival; mere sympathy alone will not save the life of a person fighting for survival, but your blood can.
Blood donation is a safe, simple and pleasant procedure.
Why voluntary donors?
Blood from voluntary donors are considered as safe blood, as they give blood out of their own will and wish.
Say 'No' to Professional paid donors:-
These donors are unlikely to disclose their health risks; hence blood from them maybe of poor quality and injected with Hepatitis, AIDS. TB and Asthma. Hence we need voluntary, family donors.
When can one Donate blood?
To celebrate a Birthday, Wedding Day or any Special Occasions or whenever called for in an Emergency.
How often we can Donate?
Once in 3 months.
Who Can Donate Blood?
Who Cannot Donate Blood?
- Anybody (Male/Female), between the age group of 18-60 years can donate.
- Weight should be above 45 kgs.
- Individuals healthy by body and mind can donate.
Individuals with - Heart Disease
- HIV Positive
- Hepatitis B/C Seropositive
- On Antibiotic
How long will it take?
Is it safe?
- 10 minutes - For Donation.
- 10 minutes - For Relaxation.
How do one feel after Blood Donation?
- Safety is our priority. All materials used are new for each donor and then discarded. So, there is no risk of acquiring HIV.
- Your body will regenerate fresh blood in few days.
- No special diet is required for replenishments.
- Short rest, snack and a drink will do.
What do they test in the Blood?
- Feel positive and energetic for having saved a life.
Your blood group will be checked first, followed by infectious disease screening like HIV 1+2, HBS Ag, HCV, Syphilis, Malaria and SGPT (a liver enzyme). Only when it is free from the above said diseases, your blood is released for patients' use. You may be notified confidentially if your blood is found unsuitable for the patient.
Where can I donate Blood?
Time: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Regional Blood Centre
Dept of Transfusion Medicine
Please call us about your eligibility details and enquiries regarding your donation.
How do I come prepared for Donation?
What else can I do to help?
- Get a good nice sleep.
- Eat a good meal and drink plenty of fluids.
- Please carry your ID card and frequent donor card (If you have donated previously).
If you can't come to KG Blood Bank, you might host a blood drive at your business, college, or community organization. We will provide materials to help you to publicize your drive, equipment and refreshments. All you need is donors.
CONTACT - Manager - M. Vidyanand, cell No. 94436-80476
"I am giving piece of myself to help someone else. That's as good as it gets".
- Mayur Shah -
"Blood cannot be engineered or manufactured. Blood is all natural and the only source is you - The voluntary donor".
Myths and facts about donating blood
Thought of as a selfless act, donating blood is a noble cause indeed. And yet very few of us take the time out to donate blood at blood donation drives or attend blood donor awareness campaigns. From blood donation causes weakness to the threat of catching diseases, several myths about blood donations abound. Today, Dr. Rani Prem Kumar, Consultant, Blood Bank at Moolchand Medcity, helps clear the air and tells us which myths and facts about donating blood are true, and which false.
Myth: Donating blood makes me feel low.
Fact: False. However, many people feel that donating blood makes them feel weak. Again, this isnt true. The thread of truth here arises from the fact that it takes a day or two to replenish the fluid volume in the body and three months for the regeneration of red cells to donate more blood.
Myth: One is advised to take complete rest for a day after donating blood.
Fact: False. One can easily resume his or her normal day-to-day routine after donating blood, but should take care of the following:
Drink at least 10-12 glasses of water including juices within 24 hours following blood donation.
Avoid sun exposure.
Avoid driving for the next 2-3 hours.
Avoid smoking for next 4 hours.
Avoid alcohol for next 24 hours.
Myth: Blood donation is a painful procedure.
Fact: False. Donating blood is not painful at all. One only feels a slight pinching sensation when the needle pricks the arms.
Myth: I should not donate blood frequently; it will make my body weak.
Fact: False. A healthy person can donate blood four times a year with a minimum a 3 months gap between each blood donation.
Myth: Can donating blood make me feel stressed with episodes of severe headache and vomiting?
Fact: No, blood donation can not cause episodes of headache and vomiting if the blood pressure of the donor is within normal limits prior to donation.
Myth: I should not donate blood frequently; it will lower my bodys immunity level.
Fact: No, your bodys immunity level is not affected by blood donation.
Myth: Donating blood frequently can fluctuate my blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Fact: No, the blood pressure and blood sugar levels do not fluctuate provided the pre-donation values are within normal limits. A diabetic patient on insulin cannot donate blood.
Myth: Can donating blood at frequent intervals make my body iron deficient?
Fact: No, a healthy individual with good eating habits can donate blood four times a year with a gap of three months. It doesnt make anybody iron deficient.
Myth: Blood donation takes a lot of time.
Fact: False. The whole procedure of blood donation from the time of registration takes approximately half an hour.
Myth: I am a retired person; I think I am too old to donate blood.
Fact: Yes, a person above 60 years and below 18 years cannot donate blood.
Myth: I can not donate blood when I am fasting.
Fact: Yes, one should have had a good meal at least four hours before donation.
Myth: Can frequent visits to the hospital for donating blood cause some infection?
Fact: No, there is no fear of infection due to blood donation.
Myth: You cannot be a blood donor if you are on any kind of medication.
Fact: Yes, a person on aspirin, antibiotics, anti-hypertensive, steroids, hormones, anticoagulants, on inhalers cannot donate blood.
Myth: A diabetic person can not donate blood.
Fact: Yes, diabetics on insulin are advised not to donate blood.
Myth: Can a pregnant lady donate blood?
Fact: No, pregnant women are not allowed to donate blood.
Myth: Can I donate blood, if I am nursing my baby/breastfeeding?
Fact: No, nursing mothers should not donate blood for at least six weeks after giving birth because donating blood affects the fluid level in the body and may also affect the milk supply.
Myth: Can I donate blood, if have consumed alcohol a day before?
Fact: No, it is not advisable to consume alcohol a day before donating blood.
Myth: Can I donate blood, if I smoke regularly?
Fact: Yes, but abstain from smoking one hour before and after donation.
Myth: Regular blood donation may lead to obesity.
Fact: False. Donating blood does not affect your body weight. However some people, after blood donation, eat more food than normal and avoid exercise which may cause weight gain but it is not directly connected to blood donation.
The habit of donating blood on a regular basis can further be strengthened if person follows:
A healthy and balanced diet full of fresh and seasonal fruits, green leafy vegetables, vitamin A and B rich diet.
Regular physical exercise.
A healthy lifestyle.
Be honest while donating blood
Potential donors should answer a confidential questionnaire about their medical history
Someone lives when someone gives. There is no substitute for human blood. But a lot of misgivings abound when it comes to blood donation. Every tomorrow needs a blood donor today. Yet, the spirit of voluntarism remains a distant cry.
To address the fears and instil a sense of social responsibility among people, authorities are planning a huge campaign with focus on donation with honesty'. Whenever one signs a blood donation form he is actually signing a new lease of life for someone. So honesty is of utmost importance while donating blood. However, not everyone tells the truth while disclosing his medical history, thereby putting a question mark on the blood donated.
In the days to come, a publicity blitzkrieg will be unleashed in the State to highlight this aspect. The Andhra Pradesh State Aids Control Society (APSACS) is trying to rope in cine star, Akkineni Nagarjuna, and badminton sensation, Saina Nehwal, to promote blood donation with honesty.
Potential donors are evaluated for things that might make the blood unsafe for use. They are expected to answer a confidential questionnaire about their medical history. One is expected to come clean if one is maintaining a promiscuous behaviour or hitting the bottle. Even if you have cough or influenza be honest and don't donate. Come some other day so that the patient who receives your blood is protected, says P. Sujatha, joint director, Blood Safety, APSACS.
For this reason the APSACS is not in favour of holding mega blood donation camps since the blood collected thus gets wasted. The shelf life of blood is just 30 days. We want small blood donation camps to be held at frequent intervals so that the shelf life remains, says Dr. Sujatha.
The blood requirement is usually one percent of the population. Annually the APSACS manages to collect 7.5 to 7.8 lakh units which is about enough. While the donated blood is given to everyone the kits for screening it for HIV and other diseases are sent to the 111 NACO supported blood banks in the State.
With the World Blood Donor Day scheduled for June 14, a number of blood donation camps are being organised. In Hyderabad the APSACS plans to hold 15 camps and one in each district headquarters.
However, no targets are set for the number of units to be collected for the simple reason that organisers are not to be forced to collect blood of just anyone. Blood is meant for circulation. So guys get ready to pass it on.