World Blood Donor Day: Who Can Donate Blood & How Can They Do So?
If you want to donate blood, you have to be between 18-65 years of age and weigh over 45 kgs.
The total voluntary blood collection (VBD) in Delhi in 2016-2017 accounted for only 45 percent of the total blood units collected. While various other states of the country have achieved more than 90 percent VBD.
Blood is a necessary requirement for critical surgeries like heart procedures, treatment for cancer and malignancies, transplantation, trauma and burn cases. At the same time, people with immune system disorders who need antibody treatment or those with bleeding disorders like haemophilia etc, women suffering from postpartum haemorrhage, might need blood urgently.
In such a scenario, there is high importance of World Blood Donor Day on 14th June, when nations make even more dedicated efforts to create awareness about the importance of voluntary blood donation.
Who Can Donate Blood?
Different Types of Blood Donation
A donor is supposed to be provided with an elaborate questionnaire at a blood center before undergoing any preliminary screening/blood tests for donation. The questionnaire ensures safety of both the donor as well as the recipient. There are national guidelines available for the acceptance and deferral (permanent or temporary) of an individual as blood donor.
There can be various types of donations, such as:
- Routine Whole Blood donation: In this case, the whole blood is withdrawn from a donor and the unit can be further split into different components with the help of a centrifuge.
- Apheresis: A technique where a specific component (depending on the requirement of the patient) is withdrawn from the donor with the help of especial equipment. For donors, in such cases, the donation interval criteria can also be relaxed, allowing them to donate much sooner.
- Blood Group Specific donation: This method is preferred on some occasions when the patient has a rare blood group. Examples include AB negative, A negative, O negative and B negative among the negative ones. Among the positive group, AB is the least common (7-9 percent) and hence donation in this case can be a huge help.
As per WHO, just 1 percent of the nation’s population is sufficient to meet its overall requirements of safe blood transfusion.
(Dr Daljit Kaur is Consultant at Blood Bank and Transfusion Medicine, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi.)
(This piece is being republished on the occasion of World Blood Donor Day on 14 June)
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