World Blood Donor Day: All About Blood Donation

World Blood Donor Day is celebrated on June 14th. The sole purpose of this day is to commemorate those who donate blood and encourage more blood drives and bring in more donors. Blood Donation is the only form of service that includes employing your blood and sweat. As the world is still in the grip of the pandemic, the need to raise awareness towards this noble deed is more than ever. And as easy as it sounds, the need for safe blood and its availability is something many of us take for granted unless it’s our near or dear one who requires blood.

Blood Banks do the marvellous task of supplying the various blood groups at the beck and call of the hospital. But of late, the need for blood is inversely proportional to the donation of blood. As the requirements to be a blood donor are on the rise, hopefully, this article will motivate and inspire you to save a life.

Why should you donate blood?

The need to inspire people to donate blood brings myths and other rumours that hold people back. Common myths include that it’ll hurt or takes a lot of time. But here, in this article, I will tell you why you should donate your blood.

It saves lives

Yes, obvious I know. But if there is ever a reason, this has to be on the top of your list. A single unit of blood can be divided into red blood cells, cell, plasma and platelets. On average, the blood donated by 1 person served well for over 3 people.

It’s a form of service

When we frequently use phrases like “karma is a bitch” and “what goes around comes around”; it also applies to the good deeds we do. Pints of blood are used daily by patients worldwide for cancer treatments, accident cases, and various other medical treatments. Also, you are fulfilling your social responsibility sociologically speaking.

The shelf life of blood

The blood you donate can be shelved only for a maximum of 42 days, requiring volunteering by more and more people. Also, a donor needs to wait 4-6 weeks before they can donate blood again.

Two other things to keep in mind are: O group are universal donors and AB- is the rarest blood group. If your blood group is one of these two, you should definitely consider donating blood as often as you can. Statistically, you’d make the most impact.

Also read: PANDEMIC GUILT: HERE’S HOW TO COPE WITH IT

Why do we need a World Blood Donor Day?

The most obvious answer is to spread awareness. (Duh!) But this day holds a deeper meaning. This day asks us all to be ‘Be Positive’ (Pun intended). It aims to thank the selfless warriors who have donated blood and inspire more to do the same. It also aims at educating everyone on the basics of blood donation. As noble as the cause is, unfortunately, not all can donate blood. So, in a way, it also attempts to provide solace to those who aren’t able to donate blood.

The primary markers of a non-donor are:

  • If you have a cold, sore throat or fever, you cannot donate blood (due to the presence of excess WBCs).
  • You have to wait 3 months before donating blood if you had a body piercing or tattoo.
  • If you have any STDs which includes aids, you will be disqualified.
  • The same rule applies to those with acute anaemia, cancer, and pregnancy.
  • Moreover, you need to have an adequate haemoglobin level and average body temperature to donate blood.
  • You cannot donate blood if you are underweight (in India, you are considered underweight if you are below 50kgs).
  • And at present, if you have travelled to a country that has been tagged by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for Covid-19 transmission, you will not be able to donate blood for 28 days post-arrival.

Unfortunately, this disqualifies a large chunk of the population from being donors. So, if you believe that you can donate blood, consider yourself lucky and do keep these points in mind:

  • Choose a licensed blood bank and fill in the necessary papers.
  • Hydrate yourself and have a light meal.
  • Avoid drinking or smoking at least 2 hours before donating blood.
  • Inform the nurse/doctor about any medications you take.
  • Confirm your blood group.
  • Make sure you are physically okay before you leave the blood bank.

Also read: MANUFACTURING OF COVID-19 VACCINES TO START IN KERALA SOON

Blood Donation in lieu with COVID-19

Access to safe blood in India has been a persisting issue that has been exaggerated during COVID times. In addition to this, a myth said that you can contract COVID if you reuse the needle, scared the people further. But many doctors have now confirmed that you can donate blood and be a source of light in these bleak moments by following the following steps.

  • If diagnosed with COVID-19, you have to wait 28 days before you can donate blood. Your doctor should confirm that your symptoms are under control.
  • If you are a post COVID patient, you can donate your plasma via the collection of convalescent plasma. This will help in the treatment of those who are presently suffering from COVID.
  • Social distancing should be maintained.
  • Take precautions using gloves and sanitisers and ensure those who tend to you follow the protocols.
  • Follow procedures for cleaning and disinfecting your clothes and other items you have worn to the blood bank.

Also read: VIOLENCE AGAINST DOCTORS: A DECONSTRUCTION

Only 1% of the population in India are regular blood donors. But the requirement for blood is acutely on the rise and has become a significant concern with the Ministry of Health. Various processes like blood transfusion faced a heavy blow. So if you are a healthy individual reading this, please take time to consider donating your blood when you can.

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