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Some Facts about Blood

by Ana

Why is blood required ?

Modern medical science is based on the availability of human blood. Blood is required by :

  1. Patients of genetic disorders like Thalassaemia, Haemophilia andHuman Blood Bank Sickle Cell Anaemia.
  2. Patients undergoing major surgeries.
  3. Cancer patients.
  4. Victims of major accidents or injuries.
  5. Burn victims.

Women in childbirth.

In the city of Mumbai alone, everyday there are more than 600 people who are in need of life-saving blood for one of the above reasons.Thalassaemia Major is a serious genetic, blood disorder, which affects more than 1 lakh children in India. These children need blood transfusions regularly throughout their lives for their survival.

Child Blood Transfusions

Where will this blood come from ?

Blood is not manufactured in any factory. Artificial/synthetic blood is still in the research stage. Animal blood cannot be transfused to human beings.
Blood, is made in only one factory – the human body. Therefore, the only source of blood is voluntary blood donation by another human being.

Blood Donation

Who can donate blood ?

You can donate blood if you :

  • are between the age of 18 and 60 years.
  • weigh more than 45 kgs.
  • have a haemoglobin count of more than 12.5 gms per decilitre.
  • have normal blood pressure, pulse rate, heart and liver condition.
  • have not suffered from any major ailment in the recent past.
  • have completed 3 months since your last donation.

Donate Blood

Before donation you are required to fill up a Questionnaire. Also, on-the-spot check is done of your weight, haemoglobin and blood pressure. You are found to be eligible to donate blood only on fulfilling the conditions of the questionnaire and the tests.

Will one become weak on donating blood?

The human body has around 4 –5 litres of blood. Atleast 15 to 20 ml of blood per kg of body weight is a buffer stock in the human body. This blood is more than what is required for normal circulation in the body.

Donating Blood

The total blood collected during blood donations is 350/450 ml. – a very small fraction of the buffer stock of blood in the body.  And, even this donated blood is regenerated by the body on its own in a short time. The donor is fit to resume normal duties after an hour of donation.

The blood that is donated is of very little consequence to the donor, but is a matter of life and death for a suffering fellow human being.

Is it painful to donate blood ?

After the initial prick of the needle, all you feel is a gentle pressure, but no pain. The entire process of donation takes less than 10 minutes. Any discomfort or problem during or after donating is very uncommon.

Painful Donate Blood

Is it safe to donate blood ?

Yes. You will be eligible to donate blood only if you are fit and well. The needle and blood bag used to collect blood come in a sterile pack that cannot be reused. The process is therefore absolutely safe.

Safe Donate Blood

What should one do after donating blood ?

  • Lie down for five minutes on the same cot after blood donation.
  • Keep you hand folded at the elbow so that the flow of blood is stopped
  • Wait for the plaster to be fixed on the blood donation spot.
  • Consume the biscuit and coffee served to you.
  • Do not indulge in any rigorous physical activity on the day of donation.
  • Consume lot of fluids after donation on the day you have donated blood.

What tests are done on the blood which is collected ?

The blood which is collected is carried to the Blood Bank and tested for Blood Grouping, HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Venereal diseases (STDs), Jaundice & Malaria

What is component separation ?

Blood is made up of Red Blood Cells, White Blood Cells, Platelets and Plasma. Blood collected from a Donor is called Whole Blood. Ideally after collection and being found suitable, Blood should be immediately split up into its components. In most cases, those in need of blood, do not need whole blood but need one or more components. Thus, one unit of blood donated by a person can help several people.

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