Blood Donation ~ Considering donating your blood? Know the how and why!
If you have been considering donating your blood and have been on the fence for sometime, here is everything you need to know about blood donation. Why Donate?
Unlike other donations, blood donation is revered as highest form of donation as blood cannot be manufactured. It can only be donated by healthy individuals. Most often there is very little awareness amongst us, as to what it entails. There are so many avenues available for donating your precious blood. You can save up to 3 lives with one donation.
Facts about blood:
Blood makes up about 7 percent of your body’s weight.
- Apheresis – This is the process where donors can give either whole blood or specific blood components like red cells, plasma or platelets only.
- There are four types of transfusable products that can be derived from blood: red cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate. Typically, two or three of these are produced from a unit of donated whole blood – hence each donation can help save up to three lives.
- Red cells can be stored up to 5 days at room temperature, platelets must be used within five days of collection. Plasma and cryo can be frozen and used up to a year.
- The chalice of blood – bone marrow will make for a regular supply of all the components of the blood. The human body will The body will restore our blood supply – some in a matter of hours and others in a matter of weeks.
- There are four main blood types: A, B, AB and O
- Blood type is inherited.
- The only blood type that can be transfused to any other type is Type O-negative blood (red cells). It is often called the universal donor.
- Type AB-positive plasma can be transfused to patients of all other blood types. AB plasma is also usually in short supply.
Registration and Mini Physical
- There is always a quick and easy blood donor registration process. Please have your ID card handy.
- A brief health history and mini physical are completed.
- About 1 pint of blood in several small test tubes are collected from each donor.
- The bag, test tubes and the donor record are labeled with an identical bar code label to keep track of the donation.
- The donation is stored in iced coolers until it is transported to a testing facilities.
- The collected blood is received at testing Laboratories.
- Several tests are done on each unit of blood – to establish the blood type and check for infectious diseases.
- Electronic transfer of test results are transferred back to the testing facility within 24 hours
- If all goes well, the unit of blood is stored appropriately. If not it is discarded and the donor is notified. Test results are confidential and are only shared with the donor, except as may be required by law
You are provided with a quick snack and off you go. You can pride yourself that you have done your good deed for the day.