Why should I donate blood?
Blood is essential to the body and its shortage reduces bodily function and may lead to death, therefore the donated blood can help to keep people who need it alive.
There is a dire need for blood by people who have sustained life-threatening injuries during road traffic accidents, complications of childbirth, some kinds of cancers etc.
There is no substitute for blood and our hospitals do not have enough blood for those who desperately need it.
Blood can only be obtained from healthy human beings. You will be a lifesaver, as donated blood from one person can save up to 3 lives. You have enough blood in you to donate a pint (about 450ml) and in cases where you do not have high enough blood volume, you will be advised against donating
Who are those who need blood?
People with severe cases of sickle cell anaemia, cancer, other forms of anaemia, road traffic accidents, severe bleeding during childbirth, surgical patients, people with severe burns etc
How do I know I am qualified to donate?
Healthy people between the ages 18 and 65, male or female can donate. Donors must weigh at least 50 kg and be in good health. (*Additional eligibility criteria apply)
Further tests would be conducted at the point of donation to confirm eligibility.
When am I not eligible?
If you have a chronic illness, pregnant, anaemic, or have been diagnosed with HIV, Hepatitis B or C and syphilis etc
How much blood will be taken?
Approximately 450ml (of the 4.5-5.5 litres you have), which is just about a pint. Your body starts to replace the lost fluid almost immediately and completely over a very short period of time.
Why do people pay for the blood when they need it?
While donated blood is free, there are significant costs associated with collecting, testing, preparing components, labelling, storing and shipping, recruiting and educating donors, and quality assurance.
At government facilities, patients who need the blood do not pay for blood. Instead, the fees cover the tests to be carried out on the blood to detect any infections and ascertain the blood group.
The payment is for testing the blood.
What do I benefit from being a blood donor?
Donating blood has benefits for your emotional and physical health. It helps to improve your emotional well-being while also providing a sense of belonging and reduces isolation.
Blood donation may lower the risk of heart disease and heart attack. This is because it reduces the blood’s viscosity. A study found that regular blood donation significantly lowered some type of cholesterol in the blood thereby protecting against cardiovascular disease. Researchers note this is consistent with findings in other studies which found that blood donors had a lower risk of heart disease and heart attack.
Donating blood regularly may also lower iron stores. This may reduce the risk of heart attack. High body iron stores are believed to increase the risk of heart attacks.
A study found a decrease in the risk of certain cancers in people who regularly donated blood. These included cancers that are linked to high iron levels, including cancer of the liver, colon, lung, esophagus and stomach.
In order to give blood, you’re required to undergo a health screening. A trained staff member performs this checkup. They’ll check your pulse, blood pressure and hemoglobin levels. This free mini-physical can offer excellent insight into your health. It can effectively detect problems that could indicate an underlying medical condition or risk factors for certain diseases.
General feeling of doing a good deed. Knowing that you have contributed to potentially saving 3 lives is a good pick-me-up for most people.
Can I get infected while donating?
Donating blood is safe. Sterile, disposable needles and supplies are used once and then properly disposed of. You cannot contract any infectious disease by donating blood.
How will giving blood affect my health?
If you are fit and healthy, you should not experience any problems whatsoever.
What if I feel faint when I get home?
You need to take it easy for a few hours after giving blood, but if you do feel faint or dizzy, lie down immediately with your legs raised. Ideally, let someone else know if you are feeling unwell. Donors are observed for a while after the process to ensure you feel well.
Can I smoke after giving blood?
Ensure that you refrain from smoking for about two hours after donating, as it might make you feel dizzy or faint.
Can I go back to work on the same day?
Most people feel fine after donating and you can resume your normal activity as long as you feel well. But do avoid heavy lifting, pushing or picking up heavy objects for at least four hours after donating.
Where does my blood go?
Your blood will be taken to a government owned/accredited hospital across the state. To protect patients, your blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, certain other infectious diseases and syphilis. Then the blood is sorted into its different types, and matched to particular patients who require a transfusions
As a vegetarian, can I give blood?
There is no problem with vegetarians giving blood. The red blood cells, which require iron from the stores in your body, will need to be replaced after the donation. Provided you eat a well-balanced diet sufficient in iron, then you should be able to replenish your iron supply before your next donation.
How does the blood donation process work?
Donating blood is a simple thing to do, but can make a big difference in the lives of others. The entire process takes about one hour, the actual donation of a pint of whole blood unit takes eight to 10 minutes. However, the time varies slightly with each person depending on several factors including the donor’s health history and traffic at the blood drive.
Will it hurt when you insert the needle?
Only for a moment. Pinch the fleshy, soft underside of your arm. That pinch is similar to what you will feel when the needle is inserted.
Where can I donate blood?
Do I need to book an appointment?
Scheduling an appointment is preferable, as it helps to plan use of donation equipment and resources. However, not all centres have appointment scheduling support. While appointments are encouraged, walk-in donors are always welcomed.
Do you pay donors?
No. We rely exclusively on the generosity of volunteer blood donors to support the community blood supply. Studies have shown that volunteer donors provide a safer blood supply.
Does the donor need to rest after donating blood?
Yes. The donor needs rest, preferably lying down. The donor should take it easy for about 15 to 20 minutes.
I am not eligible to donate blood, what else can I do?
There are many ways you can support. You can plan a blood drive (we will provide technical and logistics support), advocate the need for blood donations, volunteer at a drive, recruit a suitable donor or support financially. See more details here.
Does the donor suffer from any harmful effects after donating blood?
Absolutely not, rather a donor after having given blood voluntarily gets a feeling of great pleasure, peace and bliss. Soon, within a period of 24 to 48 hours, the same amount of new blood gets formed in the body, which helps the donor in many ways. The donor’s body resistance improves, the circulation improves, and the donor feels healthier than before.
How badly is blood needed?
Blood supplies can vary depending on the region and time of year. The country is constantly at risk of a low blood supply until there are enough regular and voluntary blood donors. If you are eligible, your blood donations are needed. WHO estimates that donation by 1% of the population may be sufficient to meet the demand for blood.
How can I increase my iron level?
Donors may be deferred from donating due to a low hematocrit (iron) level. This restriction is for the safety of the donor and ensures that after donation, the donor’s hematocrit level will still be within the normal range for a healthy adult. Since hematocrit levels can fluctuate daily, a deferral for a low hematocrit level does not always mean a donor is anemic. A donor may help increase his or her hematocrit levels by eating foods high in iron such as red meat, dark green vegetables and raisins or by taking a multivitamin that contains iron.
How much time does it take for my body to replace the blood I donated?
Not long at all. The volume of fluids will adjust within a few hours of your donation. The red blood cells will be replaced within a few weeks.
How often can a person donate blood?
The minimum interval between 2 donations is 12 weeks (3 months). This interval allows our body to restore its iron level. Platelet (aphaeresis) donors may donate more frequently than – as often as once every two weeks and up to 24 times per year. This is because the body replenishes platelets and plasma quicker than red cells.
How will I feel after I donate?
Most people feel great after giving blood. If you feel any abnormal symptoms, let a staff member at the blood center or blood drive know. You should avoid lifting heavy objector strenuous exercise for the next 24 hours; otherwise you can resume full activity as long as you feel well.
If I have a cold or the flu, can I donate blood?
In order to donate, blood centres require that you be in generally good health (symptom-free) and recommend that you are feeling well. You will be asked about the state of your general well-being prior to donation.
If I was deferred once before, am I still ineligible to donate?
If your deferral is of a premature nature, you will be informed. Otherwise, the deferral time depends upon the reason for deferral. Prior to each donation, you will be given a mini-physical and medical interview. At that time, it will be determined if you are eligible to donate blood on that particular day.
Is there anything I should do before I donate?
Be sure to eat well at your regular mealtimes and drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink alcohol or smoke at least 24 hours before donation.
Is there such a thing as artificial blood?
Scientists have yet to find a successful substitute for human blood. This is why blood donors are so vital to the lives of those who are in need of blood.