World Blood Donor day is observed on June 14, every year. The theme this year is Give Blood, Give Now, and Give Often, highlighting the urgent requirement of blood during causalities, emergencies, accidents, and how as humans we can enable and help each other overcome these adverse situations.
57 countries collect 100% of their blood supply from voluntary, unpaid blood donors. In low-income countries, 65% of blood transfusions are given to children under five years of age.
In high-income countries, the most frequently transfused patient group is 65 years of age, accounting for up to 76% of all transfusions. Data reported to WHO shows significant increases of voluntary unpaid blood donations in low- and middle-income countries.
This World Blood Donor Day, Dr Seema Sinha, Head - Department of Transfusion Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Noida, shares a few facts associated with blood donation.
Facts to be kept in mind Pre & Post Blood Donation:
Before Blood Donation:
• People between the ages of 18 years to 65 years can donate blood.
• The weight of the donor should be more than 45 kg.
• The pulse rate must be between 50 to 100/minutes without any irregularities.
• Body temperature should be normal and oral temperature should not exceed 37.5 degree Celsius.
• The blood pressure should be below 160 systolic and below 100 diastolic at the time of donation
• A prior medical examination should be performed to screen for disease and medication.
After Blood Donation:
• Blood volume returns to normal levels within 48 hours to 72 hours after blood donation
• Drink at least 10 -12 glasses of water within 24 hours
• Don't consume alcohol for 24 hours
• Avoid driving for two-to-three hours
• Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun
• Avoid smoking for three to four hours
Myths & Facts associated with Blood Donation
• Myth: Blood Donation is an exceedingly painful activity.
• Fact: Donating blood is not painful at all. One only feels a slight pinching sensation when the needle pricks the arms.
• Myth: You cannot donate blood more than once.
• Fact: A healthy person can donate blood four times a year with a minimum a 3 months gap between each blood donation.
• Myth: Blood donation induces weakness, headaches and vomiting.
• Fact: Blood donation cannot cause headache and vomiting if the blood pressure of the donor is within normal limits. To avoid vomiting, there should be one hour gap from the person's last meal
• Myth: I will get infected while donating blood
• Fact: Sterling is maintained at all step of blood donation and only disposable blood begs are used
• Myth: Giving blood is time consuming
• Fact: Actual donation process is around 10 - 15 minutes. Donors are kept waiting for 20 minutes post donation just to see the reaction, if occurred
Dr Kiran Dalal, Chief Dietician , Fortis Escorts Hospital Faridabad talks about the food to eat before and after donating blood.
Diet before donating Blood:
• Eat iron rich foods. For Example - Spinach
• Include foods which are rich in Vitamin C. For Example - Oranges
• Drink plenty of water
• Avoid fatty foods for twenty -four hours before you donate blood.
• Eat a healthy meal before your donation.
Diet after donating Blood:
• Drinking plenty of liquids
• Eat foods rich in Folic Acid. For Example - Spinach
• Eat foods rich in Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin). For Example - Diary Products
• Eat foods rich in Vitamin B-6. For Example - Eggs
• Without iron, your body cannot maintain or produce healthy red blood cells. Therefore eating foods rich in vitamin C that increase absorption from plant sources of iron.
• Eating the right foods afterward can help replenish lost iron and vitamin stores.
There is lack of awareness about blood donation in India. There was 10 per cent shortage of blood requirement in 2015-16 as opposed to 17 per cent shortage in 2013-2014.
Shortages may also be due to the fact that there is no central collection agency, leaving the logistics of collecting blood to single blood banks and local governments.
An imperative requirement, blood donation needs to take place on a larger scale. People need to be more aware of the steps involved in donating blood and if they are eligible to do so or not. There is an urgent need to replenish this indispensable commodity.