Blood Donation & It’s Importance
Health & Fitness

Blood Donation & It’s Importance

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Blood Donation is one of the best gifts to society. Human blood cannot be manufactured, only the human body can generate the blood that’s why blood donation is very important. It is not harmful to adult people. It is a safe way to make a difference in people’s life. All over the world, most blood donors are volunteers, they are not forced by someone. Many donors donate blood as an act of charity.

Blood plays a vital role in our human body. Normally, 7 to 8% of human body weight is from the blood.  Our blood is a living tissue with a variety of critical functions. It delivers oxygen and nutrients to our organs, fights against infections and creates blood clots, preventing us from bleeding excessively when a blood vessel is damaged and get rid of carbon dioxide, ammonia, and other waste products. The liquid part of our blood called Plasma is a key for maintaining blood pressure and supplying critical proteins for blood clotting, immunity and maintaining the correct pH balance in our body. Plasma also carries a solid part of our blood. White blood cell works to destroy viruses and bacteria. Red blood cell works to carry oxygen through the body and platelets, which helps in clotting.

Eligibility for blood donation in India:

  • The minimum age for donating blood is 18 and the maximum is 65
  • Donor’s weight should be a minimum of 50 kg
  • The donor must be healthy & fit and should not have affected by some disease
  • Minimum Hemoglobin level should be 12.5 g/dL
  • Body temperature should be 98.6°F (37°C)
  • There should be three months gap from the previous blood donation
  • People who have undergone ear/body piercing or tattoo in the past 6 months are not eligible
  • A pregnant or breastfeeding female cannot donate blood
  • Any surgery has undergone in past 1 month also not eligible
  • Women who have had a miscarriage in last 6 month are not eligible

Contents of Blood:

Blood plays a vital role in our immune system and in maintaining relatively constant body temperature.  Blood is a highly specialized tissue composed of more than 4,000 different kinds of components.  Four of the most important ones are Red Cells, White Cells, Platelets, and Plasma.  All humans produce these blood components.

Group of Blood:

There are four blood groups in the human body. A, B, AB, and O. Your blood group is determined by the genes you inherit from your parents. Each letter refers to a kind of antigen or protein on the surface of the red blood cells. For example, the surface of red blood cells in Type A blood has antigens known as A-antigens. 

The Rh Factor:

Each blood type is also grouped by its Rhesus factor or Rh factor. Blood is either Rh positive (Rh+) or Rh negative (Rh-). This means there are eight main blood types which are A+, A-, B+, B-, AB+, AB-, O+, and O-. Rhesus refers to another type of antigen or protein, on the surface of red blood cells. The name Rhesus comes from Rhesus monkeys, in which the protein was first discovered.

When blood group is important:

At the time of donating or receiving a transfusion, it is mandatory to know the group. Receiving blood from wrong group can be life threatening. For example, if someone with group B blood is given group A blood, their anti-A antibodies will attack the group A cells.

Here is a chart of blood transfusion:

Blood Type

Donate Blood to

Receive Blood from

A+

A+, AB+

A+, A-, O+, O-

A-

A+, A-, AB+, AB-

A-, O-

B+

B+, AB+

B+, B-, O+, O-

B-

B+, B-, AB+, AB-

B-, O-

AB+

AB+

Everyone

AB-

AB+, AB-

AB-, A-, B-, O-

O+

O+, A+, B+, AB+

O+, O-

O-

Everyone

O-

Benefits of Blood donation:

Blood donation not only helps to the receiver, but also helps the donor as well. There’s no end to the benefits of donating blood for those who need it. According to the American Red Cross, one donation can save as many as three lives. It helps to maintain our emotional and physical health.

Here are some health benefits that come specially for donating blood.

Lower risk of Heart and Liver disease

Blood donation may lower the risk of heart disease or heart attack because it reduces the blood’s viscosity. It also reduced the level of iron in our body. Since our body can absorb a limited proportion of iron, excess iron gets stored in our liver, heart, and pancreas. As a result, there is a chance of liver failure, damage to the pancreas and heart problems. Blood donation helps in maintaining iron levels and reduces the risk of various health ailments.

Lower risk of Cancer

A study found that those who are donating blood regularly have a lower risk of Cancer. There is a possibility of cancer due to the high level of iron. By donating blood, the body can maintain the iron at a healthy level. A reduction in the iron level in the body is linked with a lower risk of cancer.

Weight Loss

Blood donation is very helpful for those who are very obsessed and are a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases. Donating one pint of blood (450 ml) burns almost 650 calories. A regular donation can improve our physical fitness.

Free health screening

A donor receives a free prior health screening test. There will be an HB level test, as well as blood pressure and body check. Blood is also tested for some major diseases and the donor is immediately informed in strict confidentiality if any of these tests show positive results.

Production of new Blood Cell

Just after blood donation, the donor’s body immediately begins to replenish the lost blood. Bone marrow produced new cells within 48 hours of donation and Red Blood Cells completely replaced within one to two months after donation. This process helps in maintaining good health.

Mentally satisfaction

Donating blood is good for our mental health also. According to a report by the Mental Health Foundation, helping others can:

  • Reduce Stress
  • Improve your emotional well-being
  • Help to get rid of negative feelings
  • Provides a sense of belonging and reduce isolation

There are some side effects also of Blood Donation

  • Dizziness
  • Feeling Faint
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea

These symptoms will usually go away within 3 days of giving blood but the donor should intake a proper diet.

Here are some interesting facts on blood donation:

  • World Blood Donor Day celebrates on 14th June globally
  • In every 2 seconds, someone needs blood
  • Only 350 ML to 450 ML of blood is given during a donation and just 150 ML blood can save one life
  • Platelets can be stored up to 5 days
  • Red Blood Cells can be stored up to 42 days
  • Plasma can be stored up to one year
  • Annually around 112.5 million units of donated blood are collected globally
  • Approximately around 13.6 million units of whole blood and red blood cells are collected in the U.S every year, and nearly 21 million units of blood components are transfused each year in the U.S.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India suffers from an annual deficit of two million blood units, as only 1% of Indian population donates blood each year
  • An adult has 5-liter blood in his body and a newborn baby has about a cup of blood in his body

You can read about Kidney Donation – Life On A Waiting List also. 

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