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Sharing with another is indeed meaningful. Especially,when it can help save a life. That's the beauty of donating blood. This selfless act transcends the boundaries of caste, creed and colour to create an invisible bond that lasts a lifetime.Here's all the information you need to make 'blood ties'.

 

Why should you donate blood?

Blood donation leaves us with a proud feeling of touching someone's life in a beautiful way. It's an experience that no words can define.

 

Is donating blood painful?

Donating blood is not painful and is completely safe for the donor. It takes approximately 5 minutes to donate blood.

 

Is it safe to donate blood?

Donating blood is very safe and simple. We only use sterile disposable blood collection bags and needles.

 

How much blood can I donate?

Each individual can donate up to 350/450 ml. of blood.Your body can replenish this volume within 24 to 36 hours.

 

How often can I donate blood?

Whole blood donors can give blood once every 90 days.Aphaeresis platelet donors can donate more frequently,as much as twice in one week,and up to 24 times a year.

 

Who is eligible to donate blood?

In India, you can start donating blood at the age of 18 and up to the age of 60, if you weigh at least 45 kgs. and if you are in good health.

 

Can I get any disease like AIDS or hepatitis or any other disease by donating blood?

No. Only sterile disposable bags and needles are used to collect your blood. These disposable items are for one-time-use only.

 

What should I eat before making a blood donation?

Eating light snacks and a drink (non-alcoholic) before blood donation makes you psychologically more comfortable.

 

What should I eat after making a blood donation?

Drink some liquid like tea, coffee, a cold drink,juice, etc.to replenish fluid and eat some snacks.All this will be available for you at the blood donation site.

 

Will I be asked any questions before I give blood?

Yes. In order to make this process safe for both the donor, and for the patient receiving blood from our blood bank, we require to ask a number of questions. All details given during this process are treated as confidential.

 

I've just had a tattoo and am dismayed that I can't donate for 6 months. Why?

There is always an infection risk whenever the skin is pierced. In order to avoid unconsciously passing on such infections,donating blood after a tattoo is not advisable for at least 6 months.

 

I am 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, you should be able to replenish your iron supply within a month.However,this may take longer because you are a vegetarian.

 

I have started taking 75 mg. of aspirin a day to thin my blood and help prevent heart attacks. Will this affect my ability to donate blood?

You can donate blood but, because aspirin may affect platelet function, your donation will not be used for preparing platelets. That is why it is always important to let us know if you are taking any over the counter medication on a regular basis.

 

Can I donate blood during menstruation?

No.It is advisable to avoid donating blood during menstruation.

 

What can I do to help if I am not eligible to donate?

While you may be unable to donate blood, there are other ways you can help. You can help organise a blood drive, recruit other suitable donors or volunteer at fixed sites or mobile blood drives to help make a donor's experience a positive one.

 

What if I feel faint when I get home?

You need to take it easy for a few hours after giving blood, so take a day off from your regular aerobics class/gym workout.But, if you do feel faint or dizzy, sit down immediately and put your head between your knees.Ideally,let someone else know if you're feeling a bit faint.

 

Can I smoke after giving blood?

It is probably best that you don't smoke for about four hours after donating as it might make you feel dizzy or faint.

 

Can I go back to work on the same day?

Yes. However, it's unwise to give blood just before undertaking a hazardous hobby or job, such as driving a crane or working for emergency services.

 

What happens during a blood donation?

  • You will complete a donor registration form that includes your name, address and a few other details.
  • You will be asked a few questions about your health.
  • You will go through a simple medical check-up, including checking blood pressure and pulse.
  • A drop of blood will be obtained from your fingertip to check your haemoglobin percentage.
  • You will proceed to a donor chair where your arm will be cleaned with antiseptic.
  • During the donation process, you will donate 350 ml. or 450ml., depending on your weight.
  • After the process is over, you will need to rest for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Following your donation, you will be given refreshments.
  • Please remember to collect your donor card before you leave.
 

How soon after donating can I practice sports?

Sports can be resumed the day after the donation.

 

What are the components of the blood?

  • Blood has the following components and each one takes care of specific needs.
  • Red Blood Cells: RBCs are administered to replenish blood loss and is usually used to treat trauma and surgery patients.
  • Fresh Frozen Plasma: Plasma is the liquid part of the blood.It is administered to patients with liver problems,burn cases etc.
  • Platelets: Platelets help in clotting and are used in treatment when cuts or other open wounds occur.Leukaemia and transplant patients often need platelet transfusions.
 

How long can the blood be stored at the Blood Bank?

Whole blood can be stored for up to 35 days. The various blood components can be stored as under:

  • Platelet Concentrate - 5 days
  • Platelet Aphaerises - 5 days
  • Packed Cells - 42 days
  • Fresh Frozen Plasma - 1 year
  • Cryo Antihaemophilic Factor - 1 year
 

What are the laboratory tests performed on the collected blood?

  • Hepatitis B & C
  • Malarial parasite
  • HIV I & II (AIDS)
  • Venereal disease (Syphilis)
  • Blood group
  • Before issuing blood,compatibility tests (cross-matching) is done
 

What is Aphaeresis?

Aphaeresis is a procedure during which the blood goes through the aphaeresis machine. This machine removes the selected blood components/cells. The rest of the blood is returned back to the donor.This procedure usually takes one to two hours. It is a safe procedure for the donor and gives more benefit to the patient who is transfused only the required specific blood component.

 

Do you charge for issuing blood?

All blood received by you is through voluntary donation.

We don't. The blood itself is free. A processing fee is charged by the blood centre to the patient to cover the cost of collecting, blood typing, testing, storing and distributing the blood. Yes. Voluntary blood donation is the only source of blood.

 

Points to Remember

  • Eat and drink something before leaving
  • Increase your fluid intake during the next 24 hours
  • Avoid consuming alcohol until you have eaten something
  • Don't smoke or chew tobacco for the next 30 minutes to 4 hours
  • Avoid climbing steps for the next 30 minutes
  • Avoid strenuous physical exertion, heavy lifting or pulling using the arm used for donation for at least 24 hrs
  • If there is bleeding from the phlebotomy site (puncture site), raise the arm and apply pressure
  • If you feel faint or dizzy, either lie down or sit with your head between  your knees
  • Resume all normal activities if no symptoms occur
  • Remove bandage after 4 hours.
  • Do not hesitate to contact the blood bank if you have any problems or queries
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