Congratulations to all IIMB students who gave their blood today!
I gave my blood twice in India: the first time at IIMB in Bangalore and the second time in a Bloodmobile in Delhi. No need to be a superhero to save lives!
You can help too!
In developed countries, most blood donors are unpaid volunteers who give blood for a community supply. Established supplies are limited in India where a large proportion of blood donations comes from family members, friends or paid donors. Blood services are fragmented and there is a need to improve blood collection, screening, management, storage and use.
The demand-supply gap led to the commercialisation of blood donation with the emergence of commercial blood banks and professional blood donors*. Efforts are being made to keep the donation process safe but wrongdoings still take place: improper screening and multiple use of disposable needles to keep costs down, sale of contaminated blood on the black market, inflated blood price, unhealthy blood donation frequency, etc.
Don't wait for an accident to take place. Red blood cells have a shelf life of 35–42 days at refrigerated temperatures (5-6 days for platelets and one year for plasma). Give today!
You are a potential donor if you are in good health* and meet the following criteria:
-Age: 18-60 years
-Body weight: >45kg
-Pulse: 50-100/minute with no irregularities
-Blood Pressure: Systolic 100-180 mm Hg & Diastolic 50-100 mm Hg
-Haemoglobin: >12.5 g/dL
-Blood donation is a noble and selfless service. It feels great saving lives!
-Donating blood may reduce the risk of heart disease because it thins out the blood.
-In patients prone to iron overload, blood donation prevents the accumulation of toxic quantities.
-Preparation: Find a recognised blood centre (some colleges/companies organize blood donation campaigns), don’t consume alcohol 48 hours before the donation, eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of fluids before donating blood.
-Donor eligibility check: Potential donors are asked about their medical history and given a short physical examination to ensure the safety of blood donation for both the donor and the recipient. Later on, the blood will be tested for diseases that can be transmitted by a blood transfusion, including HIV** and viral hepatitis.
-Blood donation: Only sterile disposables should be used to collect blood which completely eliminates the risk of catching diseases from a blood donation. There may be a little sting when the needle is inserted but there should be no pain during the donation. Collecting 350-450 ml of blood takes about 10 minutes followed by a short rest and refreshments. Routine work is completely fine after the rest.
-Recovery: The body replaces blood volume or plasma within 24 hours. Red cells need about four to eight weeks for complete replacement.
*The ban on professional blood donations in 1998 has not stopped paid donors who act as relatives of patients or move to more laxly regulated blood banks.
**Blood donations are tested for HIV/STD's but the test may not always detect the early stages of viral infection. While the chance of infected blood getting past the screening tests is very small, donors should act responsively and not give blood should they be at risk of being HIV positive (Never give blood to get a free HIV test!).