Why is blood donation so important?
Because without blood there is no life. Blood is a liquid which contains cells such as: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, which perform several vital functions. They transport oxygen, fight infections, and prevent hemorrhages. Blood is so complete that no lab in the world has been able to produce it artificially or replace it with any other substance.
Blood donation is always a voluntary and altruistic act that anyone who meets the following requirements can do:
- Be aged 10 to 60.
- Weigh at least 50 kg (110 lbs)
- Not be pregnant
- Not be menstruating
- Not having drunk alcoholic beverages 48 hours prior
- Fasted for at least 4 hours up until the time of donation
- Not have hepatitis, cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes, renal or cardiac diseases
- Not have tattoos
- Has not consumed substances such as drugs or medication
Poses no risk and is safe
Donating blood involves no risks for the donor. The amount that is withdrawn (calculated so as to not affect the body) and the material that is used (sterile, disposable items) make donation a simple and safe act, but an important one.
Help save lives!
Before donating, the physician will perform a brief medical exam on the donor, including blood pressure, heart rate, and a quick analysis to check if the donor has anemia. The donor will also be informed about diseases and risky practices that prevent donation. This is meant to ensure that donation is as safe for the donor as it is for the person receiving the blood.
Blood is analyzed
In addition to the above precautions, all blood bags are analyzed to rule out any possibility of contaminating patients receiving transfusions. The blood type, Rh, and other factors are also studied. If any alterations are found, that unit is destroyed and the donor is notified.
All bags are also processed to obtain various blood derivatives, such as: red blood cells, plasma, and platelets, in order to give patients the necessary components. In this way, each unit of blood is used in the best way possible, and each donation can treat three recipients.