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All you need to know about Blood Donation

Monday 11 June 2018 - forpatient


Blood donation has its history as far back as in the 17thcentury. The medical specialists of the time are not only aware that blood was an essential element for the body to stay alive, they also know that losing too much of it dangerous for any patient. So, the experimentation to donate blood began and so was the birth of a whole new breedof heroes that gave their bloodso others may live. Several lives are being saved on a daily basis by blood donors as they give of themselves tothose in need of transfusion for surgeries and accident victims can live.
To this effect, countries around the world on every 14thday of the month of June, celebrate the World Blood Donor Day. This event was created in 2004 to serve the purpose of creating awareness about the need for safe blood donations and blood products, and also to give thumbsup to blood donors for their voluntary and life-saving donations. The day recognizes the blood donors who are committed to saving lives and it’s also used to raise awareness on the importance of blood donation.
Blood donation is not only vital for the recipient's healthbut also good for the donor. For example, before blood donation, a free blood test is performed to detect diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. Many benefits accompany blood donation, but the most important of all is the fact that you are helping to save lives.

Who Can Donate Blood?

Those suffering from chronic diseases such as cancer and leukemia and some other medical conditions cannot donate blood. If someone has HIV, hepatitis, and malaria, they too cannot be donors. You must weigh at least 50kg or more to be eligible for blood donation.
Another thing is thata donor should be able to give his or her consent, which means that for a person to donate blood, he or she must be over 18 years but not more than 60 years. Women cannot donate when they are in their menstrual cycle. They should wait at least seven days after the periods.

Is There Any Benefit for The Donors?

Medical experts believe that blood donation has numerous advantages. For example, when someone gives blood regularly, it has been shown to prevent certain diseases. Blood donation prevents hypertension, myocardial infarction, and heart attacks. People suffer from heart attacks because they have too many lipids in their blood that block the coronary arteries. These lipids, particularly low-density fats, commonly known as cholesterol, are dangerous. Therefore, it has been shown that blood donation reduces someone's blood cholesterol levels.

What Are the Types of Blood Donation?

There are three types of blood donation and are classified according to who donates and sometimes why they donate.

  • A voluntary donation: in this type of donation, the blood donor appears because of his desire to donate blood without any material benefit in return.

  • Commercial Donation: where blood is donated for a monetary reward.

  • Self: this is where the blood is given to be used by him. This can happen when someone is going to undergo surgery, and the blood is frozen for use after surgery.

How Many Times Can Someone Donate?

These are two ways to do it. The first is where whole blood is donated that includes all the components including the red blood cells, plasma, platelets and other nutrients in the body. With this, a person can donate every two months, but they should not go four times a year.
The other form of donation is when someone donates the only necessary component, be it red blood cells or plasma or platelets. With this method, if you donate platelets, you can donate every 15 days up to 24 times in a year. If you donate plasma, you can donate every 48 hours.

What Is Expected of You?

The process of blood donation involves some steps: registration, assessment of suitability, donation and refreshments after the donation. Typically, it is estimated that the process could last up to an hour from start to finish. However, the donation itself usually takes about ten to fifteen minutes.

  • What to possibly wear: Anything you are comfortable with is okay. Nevertheless, make sure that the lower arm is easily accessible, especially at the elbow.

  • Food: It is a good idea to stay well fed and hydrated to limit any numbness. Avoid fatty foods before donation; fat can affect blood tests. Instead, consider foods rich in iron weeks before the donation.

  • Means of Identification:Bring a driving license or two other forms of identification to be presented at registration. For recurring donors, bring a donor card if you have one!

  • Cover up:After donation, donors will wield a new costume accessory; a bandage on the arm. Keep this for at least five hours. In case of bleeding, lift your arm over your head and press until it stops. The area can also cause bruising. If it hurts, apply the ice for the first 24 hours. After that, rest and avoid heavy exercise or heavy lifting during the day; Blood, sweat, and tears do not always go hand in hand. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine and alcohol, increase your intake of water in the first 24 hours.

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