Why Donate Blood?
Blood is the living fluid that all life is based on. Blood is composed of 60% liquid part and 40% solid part. The liquid part called Plasma, made up of 90% water and 10% nutrients, hormones, etc. is easily replenished by food, medicines, etc. But the solid part that contains RBC (red blood cells), WBC (white blood cells) and Platelets take valuable time to be replaced if lost.
This is where you come in. The time taken by a patient’s body to replace it could cost his/her life. Sometimes the body might not be in a condition to replace it at all.
As you know blood cannot be harvested it can only be donated. This means only you can save a life that needs blood.
Every year India requires 40 million units of 250cc blood out of which only a meager 500,000 of blood units are available.
Saving a life does not require heroic deeds. You could just do it with a small thought and an even smaller effort by saying “yes”.
Who needs blood?
Every 2 seconds someone needs blood. Your blood helps more than one life at a time. Accident victims, premature babies, patients undergoing major surgeries require whole blood, where your blood after testing is used directly. Patients suffering from trauma, anemia, and other surgeries require only red blood cells, which is separated from your blood. The procedure of splitting blood components is called Cytapheresis. Similarly blood platelets are used for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or for those undergoing treatment for dengue fever etc. Fresh frozen plasma is used for patients having massive transfusions, plasma is used for burns and cryoprecipitate is used for hemophilia.
When is blood needed?
Blood is needed at regular intervals and at all times as it has only finite time of storage. Red blood cells can be stored for about 42 days, fresh frozen plasma and cryoprecipitate for 365 days and blood platelets for 5 days.
Who can donate blood?
Anyone above 18 years weighing more than 50 kgs (110 lbs) can donate blood.
Requirements for donating blood?
- The donor should not have donated blood in the last 3 months.
- The donor should not have undergone any major surgery within 3 months.
- The donor has not had alcohol 48 hours before the donation.
- The donor should avoid smoking on the day of donation and 3 hours after donation.
- The donor should not have fever at the time of donation.
- The donor should have had a good meal before donation.
- The donor should disclose whether he is under any medication for malaria, jaundice, etc.
- The donor should not have had any tooth extraction in the past 2 weeks.
- The donor should not be pregnant.
- The donor should not have had any immunization at least one month