When was the last time you donated blood?

As-Salam-o-Alaikum Respected Subscribers & Readers,

Most of the times we need any reason to donate blood BUT we have many reasons to do it for our own health. We should also do it when someone is in need of it and but what if there is no one to ask me to donate blood in 2 to 3 or even 4 months time? I have every reason to do it even nobody asks me to do so in two months time.

If we were not donating it before then we should start donating blood more often because of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) cases in recent season. Dengue strongly hit Lahore city and some of the other cities in Punjab and KPK where patients does require complete blood transfusion (if advised by doctor) otherwise mostly platelets transfer to cover the loss because of DHF. This deficiency can only be managed if we have passionate volunteers date bank to lower the burden on patient’s family members.

Unfortunately, the fact is that we are not good in donating blood. At large we can’t manage 1 hour in 2 months time to schedule blood donation and we don’t bother much to give (approximately 0.6 lit) half liter of blood which can save up to 3 lives. But there is constant need of blood supply and our contribution is important for a healthy and reliable blood supply. The thought of being able to help save three people’s lives every time you donate blood makes you feel like a better person.

Should I consider anything before donating blood?

Yes, there is eligibility criteria for donating blood. Personally we ourselves should know it in detail and obviously (honest) healthcare professionals will look for the prerequisite before bleeding you.

Eligibility Criteria for Blood Donations:

To ensure the safety of blood donation for both donors and recipients, all volunteer blood donors must be evaluated (physically and medically by healthcare professionals) to determine their eligibility to give blood.

You must be healthy, should carry 150 lbs weight and at least 17 years old to donate to the general blood supply, or 16 years old with parental/guardian consent. There is no upper age limit for blood donation as long as you are well with no restrictions or limitations to your activities.

NOTE: Healthy means that you feel well and can perform normal activities. If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, healthy also means that you are being treated and the condition is under control. This is healthcare professionals job and they hold confidential interview to get the answers to their questions to take their decision and declare eligibility criteria met or not.

Other aspects of each potential donor’s health history are discussed as part of the donation process before any blood is collected. Each donor receives a brief examination during which temperature, pulse, blood pressure and hemoglobin (or hematocrit) are measured.

Do I need something special to do before donating blood?

NO, nothing special or mandatory to do but still there are some recommendations to do in a day you waned to donate.

– Be sure to drink plenty of fluids the day of your donation.

– Wear clothing with sleeves that can easily be rolled up above the elbow.

– If possible, include iron-rich foods in your diet, especially in the weeks before your donation.

– Bring along a friend/family member, so that you may both enjoy the benefits of giving blood or inspire other to get ready for his/her turn to donate for good cause.

– Blood donation is a simple and very safe procedure so there is nothing to worry about.

How can I make sure my own safety is not violated?

It is not possible to get AIDS or other infectious disease by giving blood, if you make sure below process is followed.
A brand new, sterile, disposable needle is used for blood donation.

You can only donate if your health history permits and you feel well. You are asked general health questions and are given a mini physical – temperature, pulse, blood pressure and hemoglobin are checked – prior to donation to ensure that you are feeling well and that it is safe for you to give blood. Your health history and test results (take your medical record with you) are confidential and cannot be shared without your permission, except as required by law.

Feeling faint or fatigued after donating blood is uncommon.
If it occurs, it most likely will pass in a matter of hours. Most donors feel fine before and after donating, but a small number of people may have a lightheaded or dizzy feeling. If you feel faint, stop what you are doing and lie down until you feel better.

You can help ensure your experience is a positive and rewarding one.
Stay in the refreshment area for the recommended period of time; mention to the staff any unusual feelings or sensations; continue to hydrate throughout the day and avoid strenuous exercise or heavy lifting on the day of donation.

To Your & Nation’s Health and Safety,

Faisal Javed Mir & First Aid to Save a Life Pakistan

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About Faisal Javed Mir

Faisal Javed Mir is Occupational Health and Safety Professional, having 10 years of profound experience with multi-national companies. He has knowledge, skills, experience, tools, proven history and confidence to deliver what is required by learners. He is teaching First Aid since 2006 and certified by MEDIC First Aid International of United States for many first aid certification programs.
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