A blood donation is when a healthy person voluntarily has blood drawn. The blood is used for transfusions or made into medications by a process called fractionation.

The amount of blood drawn and the methods vary, but a typical donation is 500 milliliters of whole blood. The collection can be done manually or with automated equipment that only takes specific portions of the blood. Most of the components of blood used for transfusions have a short shelf life, and maintaining a constant supply is a persistent problem.

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Tips on blood donating

  • Please have a good meal at least 3 hours before donating blood.
  • Please accept the snacks offered to you after the donation, it is vital you have them. You are recommended to have a good meal later.
  • Please avoid smoking on the day before donating. You can smoke 3 hours after donation.
  • You will not be eligible to donate blood if you have consumed alcohol 48 hours before donation.
  • Misconception about Donating Blood – You won’t feel drained or tired if you continue to drink fluids and have a good meal.
  • You can resume your normal activities after donating blood, though you are asked to refrain from exercise or heavy weight lifting for twelve hours after donation.
  • Donating blood will not leave you low of blood; in fact you will still have surplus blood after the donation.
  • If you choose to consume alcohol, you can on the next day.
  • While donating blood you will not feel any pain.
  • You will not faint or feel uncomfortable after donating blood. This is a common misconception.
  • You will not get AIDS if you donate blood.
  • Patients are just like donors – most of them have common blood types. Because your blood type is common, the demand for that type is greater than for rare types. So, even if your blood type is common there is still a requirement.
  • Blood donors donate blood and do not sell it.

Facts about blood needs 

• Every year our nation requires about 5 Crore units of blood, out of which only a meagre 2.5 Crore units of blood are available.
• The gift of blood is the gift of life. There is no substitute for human blood.
• Every two seconds someone needs blood.
• More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
• A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year.
• The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints.
• The blood type most often requested by hospitals is Type O.
• Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.
• More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
• A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood Facts about blood supply
• Blood cannot be manufactured – it can only come from generous donors.
• Type O-negative blood (red cells) can be transfused to patients of all blood types. It is always in great demand and often in short supply.
• Type AB-positive plasma can be transfused to patients of all other blood types. AB plasma is also usually in short supply. Facts about blood donation process
• Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded.
• Blood donation is a simple four-step process: registration, medical history and mini-physical, donation and refreshments.
• Every blood donor is given a mini-physical, checking the donor’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin to ensure it is safe for the donor to give blood.
• The actual blood donation typically takes less than 10-12 minutes. The entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, takes about an hour and 15 min.
• The average adult has about 10 units of blood in his body. Roughly 1 unit is given during a donation.
• A healthy donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days, or double red cells every 112 days.
• A healthy donor may donate platelets as few as 7 days apart, but a maximum of 24 times a year.
• All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases before it can be transfused to patients. Eligibility to donate

Conditions for donating blood

You should not be suffering from any of the following diseases or taking medicines for them
Hepatitis B, C
Diabetes (are you under medication currently?)
Fits/ Convulsions (are you under medication currently?)
Leprosy or any other infectious diseases
Any allergies (Only if you are suffering from severe symptoms)
Hemophilia/ Bleeding problems
Kidney disease
Heart disease
Hormonal disorders
Any other type of Jaundice (within 5 years)
Tuberculosis (within 2 years)
Chicken Pox (within 1 year)
Malaria (within 1 year)
Organ Transplant (within one year)
Blood Transfusion (within the last 6 months)
Pregnancy (within the last 6 months)
Blood Donation (within the last 3 months)
Major Surgery (within the last 3 months)
Small Pox Vaccination (within the last 3weeks)
Hemoglobin deficiency / Anemia (recently)
Drastic weight loss (recently)

Facts about blood and its components 

• Blood makes up about 7 percent of your body’s weight.
• There are four types of transfusable products that can be derived from blood: red cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate. Typically, two or three of these are produced from a unit of donated whole blood – hence each donation can help save up to three lives.
• Donors can give either whole blood or specific blood components only. The process of donating specific blood components – red cells, plasma or platelets – is called apheresis.
• One transfusion dose of platelets can be obtained through one apheresis donation of platelets or by combining the platelets derived from five whole blood donations.
• Donated platelets must be used within five days of collection.
• Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets. The body will replenish the elements given during a blood donation – some in a matter of hours and others in a matter of weeks. Facts about donors
• The number one reason donors say they give blood is because they “want to help others.”
• Two most common reasons cited by people who don’t give blood are: “Never thought about it” and “I don’t like needles.” • One donation can help save the lives of up to three people.
• If you began donating blood at age 18 and donated every 90 days until you reached 60, you would have donated 30 gallons of blood, potentially helping save more than 500 lives!
• Only 7 percent of people in India have O-negative blood type. O-negative blood type donors are universal donors as their blood can be given to people of all blood types.
• Type O-negative blood is needed in emergencies before the patient’s blood type is known and with newborns who need blood. • Thirty-five percent of people have Type O (positive or negative) blood.
• 0.4 percent of people have AB-blood type. AB-type blood donors are universal donors of plasma, which is often used in emergencies, for newborns and for patients requiring massive transfusions. Know Your Blood Group

Blood is grouped into four types: A, B, AB, and O. Each Type is also classified by an Rh factor: Either positive (+) or negative (-).

When a blood transfusion is necessary, donor and patient blood must be compatible. If not, the patient’s body will react to the incompatible donor cells, leading to complications, maybe even death. Your ABO blood grouping and Rh factor are inherited from your parents.

Following are the Blood Groups

O Positive
O Negative
A Positive
A Negative
B Positive
B Negative
AB Positive
AB Negative

Blood Group O (Universal Donor)

O Negative: As an O negative donor, we have a great need for your whole blood donations. This type is uncommon – only 6 percent of the population is O negative. O negative patients should receive blood only from O negative donors. People with every other blood type can safely be transfused with O negative blood. This is usually done in an extreme emergency, before their own blood types can be determined.

O Positive: As an O positive whole donor, it is of great help in donation. This type is the most common – nearly 40 percent of the population is O positive. It is in greatest demand.

There are four main blood types: A, B, AB and O
What type are you?

Frequency of Blood Types

O+ 1 person in 3
O- 1 person in 15
A+ 1 person in 3
A- 1 person in 16
B+ 1 person in 12
B- 1 person in 67
AB+ 1 person in 29
AB- 1 person in 167

Examples of blood use

1. Automobile Accident 50 units of blood
2. Heart Surgery 6 units of blood / 6 units of platelets
3. Organ Transplant 40 units of blood / 30 units of platelets
4. 20 bags of cryoprecipitate 25 units of fresh frozen plasma
5. Bone Marrow Transplant 120 units of platelets/ 20 units of blood
6. Burn Victims 20 units of platelets

Preparation for giving blood

Please be sure to eat at your regular mealtime and drink plenty of fluids. We recommend that you not take aspirin, or products containing aspirin, for at least 72 hours before you are donating blood.

The Procedure

Before donating blood some basic information such as your name, address and age is recorded. A medical checkup is done, where your pulse, blood pressure and temperature is also checked. Blood is analyzed for hemoglobin content.

The procedure is done by a skilled, specially trained technician and takes seven to ten minutes. There may be a little sting when the needle is inserted, but there should be no pain during the donation. The materials, including the needle used for your donation, should be new, sterile, disposable and used only once by you for your blood donation.

You should rest a bit after the donation and have some refreshments.

After Donating Blood

You can resume full activity as long as you feel well. Just avoid lifting, pushing or picking up heavy objects for at least four or five hours after giving blood. After donating, drink lots of fluids for the next 48 hours.

Your body replaces blood volume or plasma within 24 hours. Red cells need about four to eight weeks for complete replacement. You can donate whole blood every 90 days and you can also donate specific life–saving blood components besides whole blood.

After donation, your blood will be tested for blood type, hepatitis, HIV (the AIDS virus), HTLV (Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus), and Syphilis. Then it can be used either as whole blood for one patient or, after separation into components, to help several patients.

How to get blood donors

Project Disha: Looking for Blood? Call 9480044444

In 1901, Karl Landsteiner, an Austrian physician, discovers the first three human blood groups. On his birthday i.e June 14th “World Blood Donors Day” celebrates. On October 1st ‘National Blood Donation Day’ celebrates in India. Sources:


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