14th of June. Each year this day is celebrated as World Blood Donation Day (WBDD) by countries across the globe. The day was first celebrated back in 2004 by the World Health Organization and established to be celebrated annually. The aim is to raise awareness among people for the need of safe blood donation and as a mark of thank you to valuable blood donors who save hundreds of precious lives each year.
This year the theme of World Blood Donation Day is “What can you do”? It is followed by the secondary slogan which also happens to be the answer in an emergency crisis – “Give Blood. Give Now. Give Often”. On the same note, we would like to request our readers to donate blood frequently so that it can come useful for someone in need.
But before that, if you are donating blood for the first time there are some precautions and things you need to know before you join the army of saving the life of millions of patients in need.
- Donating Blood is Completely Safe
Before you embark on this path, you need to understand that donating blood is completely safe and sound. You may feel a little dizziness, nausea or light weakness. But it all goes in 24 hours if your blood levels are normal. Blood constitutes only 7 percent of the body’s weight.
Plus, all the equipments used during blood donation are new and sterile. When a person donates blood, new disposable products are replaced each time for a new donor. There is no chance of any communicable disease that can be caught by blood transfer.
- Blood donation Eligibility
The Ministry of Health has proposed 6 parameters by which doctors and you can check the eligibility for blood donation. All these parameters are set so that only healthy persons can give blood to the needy ones.
- An eligible donor must be between 18 to 60 years old with body weight 50 kg or above.
- He/she should have the prescribed level of hemoglobin as 12.5 g/dL.
- The pulse rate at the time of donation should not exceed the range of 50-100 beats.
- Your body should not have the oral temperature more than 99.5 degree Fahrenheit or 37.5 degree Celsius.
- The donor’s blood should be checked for all blood communicable diseases such as HIV, Diabetes, Cancer, Asthma, etc.
- People with blood pressure levels as 50-100 mm Hg (Diastolic) and 100-180 mm Hg (Systolic) are only considered eligible for blood donation campaigns.
- Blood Donation Time Gap
In case you qualify all the above points and have donated blood previously, there is another precaution that needs to be checked. There must be a minimum gap of eight weeks or 56 days before you head out to donate blood again. Since the body takes much longer time to reproduce red blood cells, you have to wait almost 16 weeks if you are donating RBCs alone.
- Taking care of yourself
Donating Blood is a great deed to help someone. But before that make sure you take full care of yourself. Get a good night’s sleep the night before, eat lots of iron and free your immune system from medicines such as aspirin. After donation, drink enough water and juices to make up for the loss. Avoid alcohol and heavy exercises for at least 24 hours.