Every day, thousands of people may need a blood transfusion for various reasons like surgery, trauma, and chronic illness. Excessive blood loss is known to cause death; referred to as exsanguination in medical terminology. This is where blood donation helps. “Regular donation usually contains about 450 ml of whole blood — approximately eight per cent of the blood volume of the average adult. The body replaces this volume within 24 to 48 hours, while red blood cells are replenished within 10 to 12 weeks. A typical human body contains 4 to 6 liters of blood, depending on the gender and body type of the individual,” said Dr Rajeev Nikte, head of department, Transfusion Medicine at Global Hospital Parel, Mumbai.
The body has an adequate amount of blood that can be donated depending on a person’s hemoglobin level, he shared.
Why should one donate blood?
Blood is the most important component of human life that transports essential nutrients and oxygen to the cells. Blood is a transport liquid that is pumped to all areas of the body by the heart (or a comparable structure), then returned to the heart to repeat the process. This helps all the organs to keep working. A donor must be in good health, weigh at least 45kg, and be in the age group of 18 to 65 to donate blood or platelets.
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Following are a few things people should consider before and after blood donation
Before blood donation
*Get a full night’s sleep.
*Have adequate food, including iron-rich foods as they help to maintain the hemoglobin level.
*Make sure you’re drinking enough water before donating blood.
*Make sure you haven’t had a cold or flu in at least 72 hours.
*Don’t smoke for at least two hours prior to donating blood.
*Don’t consume alcohol a day before blood donation.
*Review the most recent qualifying conditions for donors.
*Carry your donor identity card or any other form of identification.
*Ensure to share your medical history to safeguard the patient who will receive the blood.
After blood donation
*Wait at least five minutes after the process is completed before getting up.
*Eat well-balanced meals for the next 24 hours to replenish your body.
*Ensure to eat after blood donation. Let the stomach be not empty.
*Increase fluid intake for the next 24 to 48 hours as it might take around 24 hours for the body to get the fluids retrieved post blood donation.
*Avoid consuming fizzy beverages or aerated drinks.
*For roughly five hours, avoid strong lifting or pulling with the donated arm.
*Do not stand for long periods of time.
*Avoid smoking for four hours, and alcohol for 24 hours.
*Keep the strip bandage on for the next several hours; to avoid a skin rash, clean the area around the bandage with soap and water.
*Try to avoid any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for the rest of the day.
*If the needle site starts to bleed, apply pressure and raise your arm straight up for 5-10 minutes or until bleeding stops.
*Try to consume iron-rich foods.
*Well balanced diet will help you to be a regular blood donor in future