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Archive for September 12, 2011

Donate Blood, change lives including your own !

Every three seconds, someone needs blood in this world. Blood cannot be manufactured and  there is no substitute for human blood. So the needed blood can only come from GENEROUS DONORS.

When you donate blood once you help FOUR people at a time–one of them is you (see below how?) and the other three, who receive red blood cells, platelets and plasma respectively, separated from the donated blood.

You do not lose anything except ONE PINT out of 12 pints of blood in our body. It takes about 10-12 minutes to give the actual blood. The entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, takes about AN HOUR only.

What’s blood donation like?

• Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded. So a donor has no risk of getting HIV or Hepatitis C infections.
• 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.
• 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.

Are there any side effects of blood donation?

The donors hardly get any adverse effects except rarely, some dizziness due to low blood pressure. Drinks lots of fluids, eat a full meal within 4 hours of blood donation, do not take alchohol or smoke a cigarette immediately after donation. This may cause dizziness to occur.

How long does it take to replace the given blood?

After donating blood, you replace these red blood cells within 3 to 4 weeks. It takes eight weeks to restore the iron lost after donating.

How is blood concentrate collected?

In general, there are two methods in which blood products are collected: apheresis and whole blood donation.

In the whole blood method, blood product is first collected as whole blood. Using centrifugation, whole blood components become separated and settle in the following order: red cells at the bottom, the “buffy coat” of platelet and white cells in the middle and the plasma on top. This is the method commonly used in places with less resources.

Apheresis is similar to the whole blood collection except only the selected components are drawn off and the remaining components are returned to the donor’s circulation. This method is expensive.

In the end, the blood products collected are red cells, platelets, and plasma. Plasma can be further fractionated into albumin, cryoprecipitate (rich in clotting factors such as fibrinogen, von Willebrand factor, and factor VIII) and intravenous immune globulin.

How can blood donation help you as a donor?

First, before donating blood, everyone must pass a mini-physical and a medical history examination. During the physical, your blood pressure, pulse, temperature and your hematocrit level (the level of red cells in your blood) are checked. Sometimes physical problems such as high blood pressure are found during a blood donation mini-physical. So donating blood can be a way to keep a check on your own health while helping others.
Second, preliminary studies also found that heart attacks and other cardiac problems were less common in men who had donated blood compared to men who had not.

Who can donate blood?

Though rules may vary, but any healthy individual above 17yrs and 110 pounds weight can donate blood.

If you are healthy and began donating blood at age 17, and donated every 56 days ( which is absolutely okay), until you reached 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood, potentially helping save more than 1,000 lives!

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