10 Blood Donation Facts
Blood donation is one of the greatest acts of humanity. It is also often as important to the donor as it is to the recipient.
Truth of the matter, however, is that many people still participate in blood donation without proper knowledge of some of the pertinent facts about it.
This article takes full cognizance of that, and is therefore dedicated to provide an in depth analysis into some of these facts. The following are some of blood donation facts.
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Blood Donation Facts
1. Beneficial to Donor’s Health
Blood donation is known to be beneficial to the donor’s health in the following ways. Apart from preventing accumulation of toxic quantities to patients who are prone to iron overload, it effectively reduces blood glucose level, blood pressure and heart rate in patients suffering from metabolic syndrome, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.
Blood donors receive compensation for donating blood in many countries around the world, either monetary or non-monetary. The non-monetary compensation can range from a medal of honor to a holiday or subsidized medical costs. Certain countries like Australia and Brazil have actually already legalized compensation for a blood donor.
3. Autologous Donation
Contrary to popular perception, blood is not only donated as an act of medical exigency. There are cases when blood may be donated in anticipation of future shortages. Blood may also be drawn from a donor for their own future use, and this is called autologous donation.
4. Whole Blood and Component Donation
Blood donation may either be of whole blood or of specific blood components such as red blood cells, platelets, et cetera. The latter is known as apheresis.
Potential blood-donors are normally screened for diseases that may be transmitted by blood transfusion, such as viral hepatitis and AIDS. In addition, a profile of their medical history is constructed in order to establish whether the process is safe for their health.
6. Variance of Donation Frequency
The frequency with which a donor can give blood varies. It can range from a few days to several months. The frequency is normally determined by the laws of a country, the medical condition of the donor or the type of donation, i.e. whether it’s whole blood or component donation.
7. Social Background a Factor
In certain cases, the ethnic or racial background of the donor may be important. This is due to the fact that studies have revealed certain blood types are more common in certain ethnic groups.
8. Variance in Shelf-life of Blood Components
Blood components vary in shelf-life. Some components like the commonly used red blood cells can only last for about six weeks, thereby dictating the frequency with which blood should be donated. In order to extend their shelf-life, they are normally stored frozen.
9. Storage in Separate Component
Whether donated in whole part or in components, all the blood components are isolated and stored separately. This is especially so due to the fact that in most cases, recipients often require only a component or two, and not the whole blood.
Due to the short shelf-life of most blood components, it has often proven difficult to maintain a steady supply of blood. In order to curb this phenomenon, a patient’s blood may be salvaged during surgery for continuous re-infusion, through a process called auto-transfusion.
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