World Blood Donor Day 2021 has arrived this year with the slogan "Give blood and keep the world beating". The world needs blood donors to deliver safe blood to sick people who are struggling to survive injuries, surgeries, or diseases. Though Blood donation is a noble cause in every civilised society on earth, many healthy adults fear donating blood. Read this article to know the basic concepts and benefits of blood donation.

Who Can Donate Blood?

To become a blood donor, you need to fulfil some basic eligibility requirements:

- You must be aged between 18 and 65.

- Your weight must be at least 50 kg.

- You must be in good health during donating blood.

- For regular blood donation, you must wait at least 8 to 16 weeks between donations.

There are some additional guidelines you need to follow before donating blood

- You cannot donate blood if you are suffering from cold, flu, sore throat, stomach ache, or any other infection.

- If you have undergone a minor dental treatment you must wait for at least 24 hours interval. For major dental treatment, wait for at least a month before donating blood.

- For donating blood you must meet the minimum haemoglobin level - 12.0 g/dl for females and 13.0 g/dl for males.

- You must not give blood if you have ever tested positive for HIV (AIDS virus)

- You must not donate blood if you have ever injected any recreational drugs.

- You should not donate blood if you have recently travelled to any malaria-prone areas.

- You are advised not to donate blood during the periods of pregnancy, post-natal, and breast-feeding.

Can Covid-19 Survivors Donate Blood?

When an individual gets fully recovered from COVID-19, protein antibodies are produced in his plasma which can kill the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 patients who have totally recovered from the disease and haven't experience any symptoms of Coronavirus infection since recovery for at least two weeks are encouraged to donate the liquid part of their blood called Convalescent plasma.

People who are eligible to donate blood can donate their convalescent plasma. However, the plasma treatment against COVID-19 is still under evaluation and not recommended by World Health organisation (WHO).

Lowered Risk of Heart Attack and Liver Diseases

Iron overload is defined as excess storage of iron in heart, liver, endocrine glands and different organs throughout the body. In 2013, a research revealed that the more iron stock in the body the higher risk of heart diseases and liver ailments. You can prevent iron-overloading in your body by donating blood regularly. Thus, the risk of cardiovascular and liver diseases will be minimised naturally.

Reduced Risk of Haemochromatosis

Haemochromatosis is a kind of disease which is caused due to the excess iron absorption by the human body. Reducing the risk iron-overload in the body, Blood donation can prevent the risk of occurring Haemochromatosis disease.

Lowered Risk of Cancer

Cancer is the world's second leading cause of human deaths. Blood donation may assist in lowering the risk of cancer. If you can keep the iron level of your body under balance, then the risk of liver cancer, lungs cancer, and intestine cancer may get lowered.

Production of New Blood Cells

Within several weeks of donating blood, your body is expected to restore the loss by producing more blood cells. Productions of the new blood cells can strengthen your immunity and improve health.

Weight Maintenance

Are you struggling to shed some extra pounds from your body? Health-experts recommend donating blood for the obese adults. Donating blood on a regular basis can burn fat up to 650 calories and assist in your weight-loss journey.

Lowered Risk of Premature Ageing

Getting the opportunity to help people by donating blood will bestow you heavenly mental peace and satisfaction. It would help release mental stress, which is one of the major factors causing premature ageing. After giving blood, the body produces new blood cells which keep the skin youthful, and wrinkle-free.

Faster Healing Process

When you donate blood, your body will work on adjusting the loss of red blood cells. These adjustments lead to the production of new blood cells, which accelerate the process of healing wounds.

Lowered cholesterol level

Some research works found that donating blood regularly is a great way to lower the level of cholesterol, lipid, and triglyceride. Furthermore, blood cells are built with iron, excess of which can enhance the chances of developing blockage in blood vessels. By donating blood regularly, you can prevent iron overload and maintain your cholesterol.

Free medical checkup

Prior to donating blood, every blood donor is supposed to undertake a routine medical checkup for several parameters including body temperature, blood pressure, pulse, haemoglobin level, etc. In the process of blood storage, the collected blood is tested for about 13 infectious disease like HIV, hepatitis B and C, Syphilis, etc. Thus, donating blood can get you a free medical checkup.

Why the World Needs More Voluntary Blood Donors?

Every year road accidents kill around 1.3 million people, leaving about 20 to 50 million people wounded or disabled around the world. About 90 percent of these casualties occur in the less developed countries. Uncontrolled bleeding is responsible for more than 4.68 lakh deaths worldwide per year.

Furthermore, about 3 lakh of infants are born per year worldwide with Thalassaemia and sick-cell disease. These children need blood transfusion regularly. Besides these, blood transfusions are often prescribed for the treatment of pregnancy complications, childbirth, anaemia, trauma, congenital blood disorders, etc.

Still today medical science is unable to manufacture blood. The only way to get blood is collecting it from the people who are willing to donate. The donated blood is stored at the blood bank to be used in future when needed.

Blood donation can save lives. Every time you donate blood, you are contributing to save up to three lives.

Is There Any Side Effect of Blood Donation?

The act of blood donation is harmless for healthy adults. It is mandatory to use new/sterile equipment for each blood donor. Therefore, the blood-giving procedure imposes zero risk on donor of getting infected by any disease.

However, you may feel nausea or dizziness after donating blood. Usually, these symptoms last only for a few minutes. If it happens, you can lie down raising your feet upward until you feel well again.

You may also experience pain, bleeding, tingling, or numbness at the needle-pierced spot. To overcome these issues quickly, apply a bit pressure on that spot and raise your arm for a few minutes. A bruise may develop at the spot, which will recover soon.

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