Blood donation is a voluntary process that helps to save the person’s blood level drops due to an accident or illness, sickle cell, patients with severe blood disorders such as haemophilia and even cancer patients. One hundred million units of blood are donated each year worldwide. Before donating blood, it is important to eat a healthy diet at least 2-3 hours in advance so that the blood sugar level is stable. To compensate for fluid loss from the body, it should be hydrated with juices and water to avoid low blood pressure. After donating blood, caffeinated beverages should be avoided and foods rich in iron and vitamin C should be consumed.
Different components can be obtained from each unit of whole blood. Thus, 1 unit of blood saves about three lives. Donors can donate whole blood or only specific blood components such as Red Blood Cells, Platelets, Plasma, and Cryoprecipitate. In a procedure called apheresis, special equipment is used to donate only certain blood components.
Platelet donation is called plateletpheresis which collects only platelet cells that help stop bleeding by forming clots and plugs in blood vessels. Donated platelets are commonly given to people with blood clotting problems or cancer and those who have had organ transplants or major surgeries.
Double Red Cell donation
Double Red Cell donation allows you to donate enriched red blood cells which supply oxygen to your organs and tissues. Donated red blood cells are usually donated to people with severe blood loss after injury or accident, such as those with sickle cell anemia.
Plasma donation (plasmapheresis) is the collection of fluid (plasma) from the blood. Plasma helps the blood clot and contains antibodies that help fight infections. Plasma is usually given to people in emergency and traumatic situations to help stop the bleeding.
Time Frame and Limitation
A person can donate blood every 3 months on average. However, this limit varies for different blood components. In the case of platelets, can donate every 3 days but only 24 times a year. Usually, only one unit (approximately 450 ml) is taken from each donor. When a person donates 1 unit, that amount and its components can be recovered within a few hours to a few weeks without compromising health.
In India, only people over the age of 18 are allowed to donate blood. Other essential criteria are that the body weight should not be less than 45 kg and that overall health should not be compromised by bacterial, fungal, or viral infections. Pregnant and lactating women should not donate their blood.
Examination and Precautions
A donor who donates their blood takes a physical examination and blood test like Blood Pressure, Body Temperature, Heart rate, Hemoglobin, or iron levels before giving blood. All donated blood is screened for HIV, hepatitis, syphilis, and other infections, and using new needles for each donation to ensure that these blood diseases are not spread from one person to another.
A Donor may experience side effects after donating blood. But it will be normal within 24 hours.
- Feeling Faint
- Light Headache
- Bleeding from the needle prick
- Bleeding under the skin or bruising