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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.
Blood you donate is used to:
Blood donation hardly makes a difference in terms of health to the donor, but it can help save the life of a patient.
Who can donate blood?
Some basic health conditions have to be met by donors:
A donor should :9
Who should not donate blood?
The following categories of people should avoid giving blood:
How much blood is taken at the time of donation? How soon does the body make good this loss?
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.
How long does the process of donation take?
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.
Are there any hazards in blood donation? What are the precautions that need to be taken?
Your health will not suffer because of the blood you have donated. In fact, the bone marrow is stimulated to produce new cells.
However if conditions are not hygienic, you may be exposed to infection.
Precaution: Be sure that disposable needles are used for bleeding.
What happens to the blood that is donated?
The blood is screened for the following diseases/infections:
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.
How is Blood Grouped?
Blood is composed of cells suspended in a liquid.
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).
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:
( Information Courtesy: Indian Red Cross Society, Tamil Nadu Branch. )
List of blood donation agencies