Blood Donation

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It’s a process where a person voluntarily donates blood and used for transfusions and/or made into biopharmaceutical medications by a process called fractionation (separation of whole-blood components). Donation may be of whole-blood (WB), or of specific components directly (the latter called apheresis). Blood banks often participate in the collection process as well as the procedures that follow it.

Every year the world requires about 4 crore units of blood but the availability stands at a total of 40 lakh units, facts and figures show that every two seconds in this planet a person is dire need of blood, about 38,000 blood donations made each day. An average red blood transfusion is approximately about 3 pints or 1.5 liters. People with illness like the sickle cell disease are in constant need of blood transfusions through out their lives.

On an average about 1 million new patients are diagnosed with cancer every year and most of them will need blood during chemotherapy. And most importantly most blood need comes from victims of accident a single person involved in an accident would require about 100 units of blood.

Blood cannot be manufactured of synthesized it can only be sourced from generous donors. Donating blood is a safe process as a sterile needle is used for each patient and discarded once the process is over. Blood donation process is categorized into 4 simple steps

  1. Registration
  2. Medical history
  3. Mini-physical
  4. Donation and refreshments

Every blood donor is checked and ensured that he/she is safe to donate blood and the process typically takes about 10-12 minutes. The entire process will only take about an hour and 15 minutes. An average adult has about 15 units of blood in their body and only about a single unit it is drawn. A healthy blood donor could make donation on an average about every 57 days.

Each blood donation can be used in 3 different ways in effect could be used for 3 people. Every blood donation is checked for HIV, Hepatitis b and c and other infectious diseases before it is transferred to patients in need.

The most common reason people give to deny blood donation is that they “never thought about it” and the most common reason given by regular donors is “want to help others”.

If a person starts donating blood at the age of 18 and continues to do so every 90 days which is the recommended interval, by the time the person reaches 60 would have saved 500 lives in providing 30 gallons of blood.