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On 14th June, every year, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day. This event first took place in 2004, and serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and also to thank the unpaid voluntary blood donors for their gifts of blood.
Transfusion of blood and blood products helps millions of lives annually. Blood helps patients suffering from life-threatening diseases live longer and supports complicated surgical procedures. It also has a life-saving role in maternal and perinatal care.
However, there is still not enough supply of safe blood in many countries, hence blood services face problems of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring that it be of good quality and safe to us.
Only regular donations can ensure adequate blood supply. Today just 62 countries has national blood supplies that are based on about 100% voluntary unpaid blood donations. 40 countries are still dependent on family and friends donors and even paid donors. WHO’s main goal is for all countries to get all their blood from voluntary and specifically unpaid donors by 2020.
There are many unwanted events all over the world that demand for blood in huge amounts. For example, after the 9/11 tragedy, the need to store blood was emphasized.
Donating blood is a selfless act, a completely noble gesture that fills the donor with happiness to be able to help another human being. It is a great humanitarian act making it of the best ways to express care for our fellow beings.
In what situations do people donate blood?
- ‘Pro’ Donors – These kinds of people sell their blood which is generally of very poor quality and can transmit very dangerous diseases. Selling of blood is illegal.
- Replacement Donation – In replacement to the blood given to the patient, healthy relatives and friends of the patient give their blood, of any group, to the blood bank.
- Voluntary Donation – The best kind of blood donation, a selfless service where a healthy person donates blood.
A healthy blood donors: A healthy person within the age group of 18 – 65 years weighing atleast 45 kgs, and having hemoglobin as minimum as 12.5 gm%.
Before donating blood: The donor should eat at regular mealtimes and drink plenty of fluids.
Donation duration: Only trained nurses or doctors are permitted to handle the donation which lasts roughly 10 minutes.
Does the needle hurt during the entire procedure?
Except a sting when the needle is inserted into the arm, there should be no pain during the rest of the procedure.
Are there any harmful effects of donating blood?
None! Within a period of 24 to 48 hours, the same amount of blood gets newly formed in the body. Circulation improves and the donor himself feels healthier than before.
Does a donor require rest after donating blood?
Yes, it is advisable to rest for a few minutes. In fact, a donor can go about his routine after donating blood.
How frequently a donor can donate blood?
3 months is ample distance between donations.
Does any disease prevent a donor from giving blood?
Yes, fever, jaundice, blood transmitted diseases like malaria, syphilis, etc., drugs, and AIDS.