Keep These Points in Mind Before Donating Blood
by Carolyn Lee May 16, 2022
Blood donations have saved the lives of many persons. A blood donation can help people with traumatic injuries or chronic illnesses who need blood. It is also essential for surgeries and cancer treatment. Before donating, it helps to know your blood type and what is required to donate blood.
The different blood types
Your blood type is passed on genetically from your biological parents. The antigens determine it contains, with the two significant kinds of antigens being ABO and your Rh factor. These antigens combine to create blood types O+, O-, A+, A, B+, B-, AB+ and AB-.
According to Mayo Clinic, the Rh factor is the presence or absence of a specific antigen that can stimulate an immune response in the blood. After testing, you may be classified as Rh positive (antigen present) or negative (antigen absent). Your Rh factor and blood type are compatible with the person who receives your blood.
Who can you give blood?
Persons with O- blood are considered universal donors, which means your blood can be used in transfusion for any blood type. People with AB blood type are universal plasma donors. The chart below from the Stanford Blood Center has a breakdown of the different blood types and potential recipients.
What’s the most common type of blood donation?
Whole blood donation is the most common type of blood donation and involves donating about a pint (about half a liter) of blood. After the blood is taken, it is separated into red cells, plasma, or platelets.
How should you prepare to give blood?
Donating blood is a safe process carried out in a sanitary environment using sterile and disposable needles. To donate, you need to be in good health, 16 years old or older, and be at least 110 pounds. There are also health history assessments and a physical that you must pass. The eligibility requirements differ according to the type of blood donation you make. Once you’re eligible to donate blood, eat a balanced meal and avoid fatty foods. Also, drink lots of water and check to ensure that any medication you take does not affect your donation ability.
Benefits of donating blood for donors
Donating blood gives the gift of life to others, and it has some health benefits for blood donors. Research conducted by the Mental Health Foundation shared that some of the benefits of donating blood include stress relief and improving emotional and physical well-being. Making regular blood donations can lower iron stores and reduce the risk of heart attacks.
If you’re interested in donating blood, your doctor or other health personnel will provide you with the relevant information that you need. They will also answer any questions that you may have.
Use Find Yello to locate medical centres, laboratories, or hospitals where you can make a blood donation.
Sources: Healthline, Mayo Clinic, Stanford Blood Center, The Blood Center and Red Cross.