Some Facts on Blood Donation

An adult has about 5 liters of blood in the body.

Typically, about 300 ml (anywhere between 200 and 450 ml) of blood is taken by a blood bank (depending on requirement) from a person.

The blood donated is recouped by the body within 2 to 7 days.

One unit of blood (about 450 ml) helps save 3 lives.

This is because, the blood taken from a donor is separated into its components (Red cells, White cells, Plasma and Platelets), each of which can be transfused into the blood of a recipient, separately.

It takes approximately 10 minutes to remove one unit of blood from the donor . Including the time taken for filling up a form prior to donation, a physical examination (BP and weight) of the donor and the time to relax after donating blood, the whole process can be completed in about 45 minutes to an hour.

The blood removed from the donor is tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, Syphilis, Malaria parasite and blood group. In other words, persons affected with diabetes and taking medicines to keep diabetes under control can also donate blood.

Whenever you donate blood, you will be removing excess cholesterol accumulated in the blood, thus reducing the chance of heart attack.

Take some biscuits / cake and coffee / tea / fruit juice, after donating blood and sit (lie down if you feel giddy) for about 5 to 10 minutes.

The donor can resume regular activities after about 30 minutes of donating blood. Avoid the following:

Climbing stairs within 30 minutes

Every year, our nation requires about 4 crore units of blood while availability is 40 Lac units (estimates differ – another info states that requirement is 90 Lac units and availability is 40 Lac units; all the same, there is a definite shortage of blood in the country for saving lives) Donating blood is a safe process – a fresh needle is used for each person and there is no fear of contracting any disease. The no 1 reason given by donors to donate blood is “I want to help others”. The two major reasons for a person not donating blood is “Never thought about it” and “I don’t like needles” Persons from the age of 18 to the age of 60 can donate blood, except when they are affected with HIV +ve, cancer, Hepatitis B or C (within the previous 3 years), seizures, syphilis, and women during their menstruating cycle. 

Mahesh Bhatt


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