The Facts About Donating Blood

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The Facts About Donating Blood. Who Can Donate?. BASIC REQUIREMENTS Be in generally good health and feeling well. Be at least 17 years of age; upper age 60 (420d*). Weigh at least 110 pounds (45 kg). Pulse: 80 to 100 beats/min and regular. Temperature: Should not exceed 99.5 (37.5c).
The Facts About Donating BloodWho Can Donate?BASIC REQUIREMENTS
  • Be in generally good health and feeling well.
  • Be at least 17 years of age; upper age 60 (420d*).
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds (45 kg).
  • Pulse: 80 to 100 beats/min and regular. Temperature: Should not exceed 99.5 (37.5c).
  • Blood Pressure: acceptable range is 160/90 to 110/60.
  • Skin: the venipuncture site should be free of any lesion or scar of needle pricks indicative of addiction to narcotics or frequent Blood donation (as in the case of professional Blood donors).
  • Who Can’t Donate
  • You have ever tested positive for HIV
  • You have ever injected yourself with drugs or other substances not prescribed by a physician
  • You are a man and have had sex with another man, even once
  • You have hemophilia or another Blood clotting disorder and received clotting factor concentrate
  • You have engaged in sex for drugs or money since 1977
  • You have lived in western Europe since 1980
  • You have been held in a correctional facility (including jails, prisons and/or detention centers) for more than 72 hours in the last 12 months
  • You were born in, lived in or had sex with anyone who lived in, or received Blood products in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Niger or Nigeria since 1977 (this list changes frequently; updates are very important)
  • You are, or have been a sexual contact of someone in the above list.
  • Other Reasons
  • Acupuncture: one-year deferral
  • Alcohol: defer donation if consumed in last 12 hours
  • Body piercing: one-year deferral
  • Cocaine: taking  through the nose (snorting); one-year deferral minimum, local Blood authority will prevail
  • Dental work - Cleaning and fillings: one-day deferral; Root canal: three-day deferral after work is complete
  • Ear piercing: can donate if the piercing was performed in a doctor’s office (with written verification) otherwise, one-year deferral
  • Electrolysis: defer donation for one year Hepatitis exposure: one-year deferral
  • Menstruation: can donate
  • Rape: one-year deferral
  • Smoker: can donate
  • Tattoo in the last 12 months: one-year deferral
  • Transfusion: defer donation by one year if undergone transfusion with Blood products. Can donate if undergone autologous transfusion only
  • Myths & Facts
  • Myth: Being a vegetarian, means that the blood does not have enough iron and cannot be donated.
  • Fact: Vegetarians can donate blood. The iron needed is taken from body stores and once a balanced diet is maintained is replaced after donation. This usually normally takes a month or so.
  • Myth: Giving blood hurts.
  • Fact: The pain experienced is no more than a needle prick. The slight soreness that maybe where the needle was is just a reminder of the good deed done.
  • Myth: HIV or other infections can be contracted from donating blood.
  • Fact: A clear procedure exists for taking blood from each donor. Sterility is maintained at all steps. A sterile, new needle is used for each donation and is then properly discarded. Use of sterile equipment and technique limits the chance of infection.
  • Myth: Giving blood is time consuming
  • Fact: The time taken for a single donation session is normally not more than an hour or so.
  • Myth: There is limited blood in the body and it is unhealthy to give some away.
  • Fact: Only about 470ml of blood is taken during a donation session. There is enough blood in the body to donate it without experiencing any ill effects. The body makes new blood after donation.  
  • Myth: Age is a deterrent to blood donation.
  • Fact: Anyone up to the age of 60 who is fit and healthy can give blood.
  • Myth: Heavy people are healthier and have more blood to give.
  • Fact: Being overweight makes people less healthy. Overweight people do not have more blood.
  • Myth: Health deteriorates after donating blood.
  • Fact: If you are healthy prior to donation, your recovery is complete in a day or two. It is advised to rest a while after donating. Drinking enough liquids replaces the lost fluid within a couple of hours. The body produces new cells faster after a donation. All the RBCs are replaced within 3-4 days and WBCs within 3 weeks.
  • Myth: you cannot take part in sports or other physical activities after donating blood.
  • Fact: Giving blood does not interfere with ability to perform physically. Advice to avoid heavy lifting or strenuous workouts for the rest of the day is given after the donation. You can get back on track the next day.
  • Myth: Taking medication means that one cannot be a blood donor.
  • Fact: Depending on the medication being taken, it may halt donation for a period, though in many cases it won't prevent a donation. The person in charge or the nursing staff should be informed before donating.
  • Myth: When there is a requirement, blood can be manufactured.
  • Fact: Blood is not something that can be manufactured. It can only come from healthy human beings.
  • Myth: Being of mixed race precludes blood from being helpful.
  • Fact: Race and caste have no bearing on eligibility for being a blood donor. It is the blood type and group that is of importance.
  • Myth: Blood donation can tell if one is HIV positive.
  • Fact: HIV antibodies can take months to develop after infection with the virus. Those recently infected may have a negative test result and yet be able to infect others. It is better not to donate blood if at risk of getting HIV or other infections.
  • Why Should I Donate?The need for blood affects us all. Nine out of ten of us will need blood sometime in our lives. And one out of every ten hospital patients requires a transfusion. Although the average transfusion is three pints, some patients require more. Blood is in constant demand during surgery, for treatment of accident and cancer victims, for premature babies and those needing organ transplants. The list is long. The need for blood never takes a holiday.Resources
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