Every year, on 14 June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day. The event serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.
Transfusion of blood and blood products helps save millions of lives every year. It can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with a higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. It also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during the emergency response to man-made and natural disasters.
A blood service that gives patients access to safe blood and blood products in sufficient quantity is a key component of an effective health system. An adequate supply can only be ensured through regular donations by voluntary, unpaid blood donors. However, in many countries, blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety.
So, before hitting up the donation center consider these things:
- Drink an extra 16 oz. (475 – 500 ml) of water (or other nonalcoholic drink) before your appointment.
- Eat A Good Meal Before You Go
- Avoid Aspirin For Two Days Ahead Of Time
- Wear a shirt with sleeves that you can roll up above your elbows.
Who can donate blood?
- The donor should be an adult, at least 18 years of old
- The donor should have minimum weight of 50 kg. and should not be underweight
- Donor should have normal blood pressure count – BP Systolic 100 to 180 mm Hg & Diastolic 50 to 100 mm Hg
- Pulse rate must be between 50 to 100 mm without any irregularities
- There should be minimum gap of 120 days (3 months) between 2 rounds of blood donation
Who cannot donate blood?
- Those who have hypertension, diabetes, communicable diseases like HIV etc., or have had epilepsy, cardiac arrest or an infection or illness
- If you have consumed alcohol within past 24 hours
- If you have smoked cigarettes within past 4 hours
- People who have undergone major surgery should wait at least 6 months and 2 months for minor surgery for your next blood donation. This also depends on the type of surgery one has gone through
- People who have traveled abroad or have gone through treatments like acupuncture or body piercing or got a new tattoo done – should avoid blood donation for some limited period of time
- Donors who have have been treated for Malaria should avoid donating their blood for at least 3 months
- 4 months after undergoing an endoscopy
Here is a lost of a few organizations that you can contact if in India,
- Blood Cross Society
- Rotary Blood Bank
- The Blood Association
- Indian Red Cross Society
- Sankalp India Foundation
- Athar Blood Bank
Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person — the gift of life. A decision to donate your blood can save a life, or even several if your blood is separated into its components — red cells, platelets and plasma — which can be used individually for patients with specific conditions.