Donating blood has been one of the most humanitarian acts ever incorporated into the greater good of humanity.
Since it is a delicate medical procedure, before donating blood, it is essential to know everything about it. This article will be a helpful guide in decoding the how to’s of blood donation.
Why Donate Blood
Blood donation, as mentioned before, is a supremely humanitarian act; one that does not require special reasons to be performed. The act of giving blood to save lives is purely dependant on personal will. Statistically speaking, one in every three hospitalised people tends to require a blood transfusion and a single act can save up to three lives at a time.
Who Can Donate Blood?
Although there is no standard to differentiate the able ones from the rest, but fulfilling the following criteria can make a person eligible for blood donation.
1. You are in the best of health, on the day of blood donation.
2. You fall in the age criteria of 18-65 years. Below and above the said criteria requires special guardian consent, for various health-related issues.
3. Your weight is more than 45 kilograms.
4. The elapsed time between your last and present donation is 3 months.
5. You do not have any blood-related deficits.
6. You are not on any serious medication.
7. You have no previous history of sexually transmitted diseases.
8. You have not engaged in any acupuncture or needle related activities like piercing or tattoos for over a year.
The following list mentions some do’s and don’ts during and just before donating blood.
1. Get proper rest. The candidate donating blood needs to sleep for at least 8 hours the night before.
2. Just before the procedure, have a proper and healthy meal.
3. Proper hydration is necessary before blood donation. Drink lots of water and juices and avoid drinking coffee, tea or drinks containing caffeine.
4. A diet rich in iron, prior to blood donation, will help you recuperate faster. Consume lots of poultry, liver, fresh vegetable, fruits, legumes, and red meat. Avoid foods with high fat content, as they tamper with the cellular constituents and cause the donated blood to be discarded.
Here are some steps to follow during the donation process.
1. Wear clothes with shorter sleeves otherwise you will need to roll up your sleeves during the procedure.
2. If this is not your first time donating blood, then show any good veins that you might have, to the person taking your blood.
3. Relax during the process. A lot of people fear that it might be a painful procedure, but with local anesthesia the chances of any pain whatsoever are eliminated.
4. Immediately after blood donation have some refreshments to help you cope with the blood loss.
Here are some points to remember after donating blood.
1. Donating blood results in a loss of bodily fluids, so rehydrating post donation is a must. For the next 48 hours drink plenty of water and juices to set the balance right.
2. Avoid heavy physical activities, post blood donation. Because of the loss in blood, the physical functions are weak. Hence strenuous physical exertion might complicate matters. Take lots of rest for the next 6 hours.
3. The light-headed feeling, post donation, is completely normal. Adequate rest will do away with this feeling.
The process of blood donation can be intimidating, but knowing that your blood can give someone the gift of life can be a consolation that allays all fears. A thorough understanding of the above-mentioned steps will aid in successful blood donation.