When it is given to someone who is in need, blood can even save a life. However, you may not understand clearly about blood donation. Before you give your blood, you can read this article to know more about this procedure.
Who are eligible to donate blood?
Not everyone can donate blood, you are eligible to give your blood if:
- Your overall health is good. This meansyou are completely healthy when you donate your blood.
- You are 17 years old or more. However, this minimum age can vary by area. In some cases, you may need your parents’ permission.
- You must weigh 55 kg or more. This also varies.
Because the eligibility required are different, you should ask a blood drive volunteer or check with your local donor center. They can tell you if you can give your blood.
What are types of blood donation?
You may not know that there are different types of blood donation, including:
- Whole blood: this is the most common type. You are encouraged to give a pint of whole blood.
- Platelets: in this type of blood donation, a process called apheresis is used to collect the platelets and some of the plasma. The rest of your blood will return to your body.
- Plasma: plasma can be collected with a platelet donation or it may be collected alone.
- Double red cells: this type of blood donation also uses apheresis to collect red blood cells.
Depending on your blood type, the healthcare provider may recommend you to donate your whole blood, platelets, plasma, or red blood cells.
- If your blood type is O, you should donate your red blood cells.
- If your blood type is AB, you should donate your plasma.
- If your blood type is A or B, you should donate your platelets.
- If your blood type is unknown, you should donate your whole blood.
Is it safe to donate my blood?
Blood donation is safe. New and sterile equipment is used to collect each donor’s blood. Risks of blood-borne diseases related to blood donation do not exist. Most donors are fine after giving blood. Some others can experience mild lightheadedness, dizziness, or upset stomach. Some feel pain in the place where the needle was injected. In extremely rare cases, unconsciousness or nerve damage can happen.
Can I donate blood for myself?
You can donate blood for yourself before your surgery or other medical treatment. However, you need a doctor prescription. Ask your doctor if you should store your blood.
How does the blood donation process work?
A blood donation process takes about one hour. But the donation itself only takes about 10 minutes. To donate your blood, you need to complete some steps.
You will be unable to donate your blood if you are not registered. The blood drive staff will ask you to fill in a donor registration, including your full name, your address, your phone number. If you have a donor identification number, write down in the form.
Remember to bring your ID card or driver’s license with you. The staff may ask you to show it.
Medical history and physical exam
- The staff may ask you some private questions about your health condition and medical history.
- He or she will check your blood pressure, body temperature, hemoglobin and pulse.
During the donation
- The blood drive staff will cleanse the targeted area. Then he or she will insert a fine needle into your blood vessels.
- You will lie down on a decline chair and relax until the bagis filled.
- When the targeted amount of blood is collected. The staff will remove the needle and put a bandage atthe point.
- You will not go home immediately. The staff will ask you to spend a few minutes on the chair to allow your body to accept the decrease in fluid volume.
- After that, you can continue with your normal life.
- Your blood will be stored until anyone needs it.
Will donating blood hurt?
You may feel a little bit pain when the needle is inserted. The pain is extremely mild. Then everything will be fine.
What should I do after giving my blood?
After giving your blood, you should take some steps to prevent complications, including:
- Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids.
- Keep your bandage on for the next five hours.
- Avoid physical activities that involve heavy exercising or lifting.
- If the inserted area bleeds, you should raise your arm above the level of your heart and put pressures on the site until no blood is noticed.
- Try to eat healthy meals. You may need to add foods that are rich in iron to your diet or take iron supplement. The loss of blood due to blood donation causes a loss of iron.
- If you notice bruising or bleeding under the skin, apply a cold pack to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes.
- If you get dizzy or lightheaded, lie down and raise your legs.
- If your arm is painful, you can ask your healthcare provider if you can take acetaminophen. Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen because they can cause bleeding.
When to contact a doctor?
You should see a doctor or call the donor center if:
- You forgot to report any medical condition before donating blood.
- You continue to experience dizziness, nausea, or lightheadedness.
- You notice abnormal symptoms such as raised bump after you remove the bandage.
- You feel pain and tingling in the arms,hands, and fingers.
- You get sick after blood donation.
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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: May 12, 2017 | Last Modified: May 11, 2017
Blood donation. http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/blood-donation/basics/definition/PRC-20020069?p=1. Accessed April 2, 2017.
Donation FAQs. http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/donation-faqs. Accessed April 2, 2017.
Blood donation. http://www.americasblood.org/donate-blood/types-of-blood-donations.aspx. Accessed April 2, 2017.
Frequently asked questions about blood donation. http://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/minnesota/blood-donor-program/faq. Accessed April 2, 2017.
Donating Blood Questions and Answers. https://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/BloodBloodProducts/QuestionsaboutBlood/DonatingBlood/. Accessed April 2, 2017.