Blood plays a vital role in saving human life, and because scientists have yet to succeed in discovering a suitable replacement for blood, blood donation remains the most important means for transferring blood from one human to another.
Blood donation refers to the giving of extra blood that is unnecessary for the body to someone in need. Giving blood is by no means dangerous because the human body normally contains 17-18 glasses of blood, of which only 15-16 is actually used. The extra portion can be donated to others.
Blood donation can be done as often as every 3 months. This is because when some blood has been donated, the bone marrow plays an important role in producing new blood cells to replace blood loss to maintain the same blood volume. If one does not donate blood, the body will routinely excrete the degenerated blood cells in the form of urine, feces, or sweat. The process of blood donation usually takes approximately 15 minutes. 350-450 c.c. of blood, depending on the donor's weight, will be stored in a blood bag.
What is Blood?
Blood is the red fluid which, with the help of the heart, circulates in blood vessels throughout the body. Blood cells are created by bone marrow located in the arms, chest, ribs, skull, hips, spine, etc. An adult body normally contains 4,000-5,000 c.c. of blood. This can be easily calculated through the formula: total body weight x 80 = blood volume (c.c.)
Blood consists of 2 components, namely:
1. Blood cells, which make up 45% of whole blood. They are of 3 types:
1.1 Red blood cells. Replaced every 120 days, they transfer oxygen to the cells to create energy.
1.2 White blood cells. Comparable to soldiers, they prevent and destroy "intruders" to the body such as bacteria, virus, and other toxic substances. They live approximately 10 hours.
1.3 Platelets. Having a life span of 5-10 days, they make blood clot.
2. Plasma 55% of whole blood, plasma is a yellow liquid that keeps blood cells afloat. In addition to maintaining blood pressure and volume, it also serves as immunity. It consists of 92% liquid and 8% proteins. The essential proteins are:
- Albumin, which preserves the balance of water in blood vessels and tissues.
- Immunoglobulin, which makes the human body immune to certain diseases.
- The accumulated length of all blood vessels in the body is 96,000 kilometers or 2.5 times greater than the earth's circumference.
- On average, a male body contains 5-6 liters of blood while there are 4-5 liters in a female body.
- Blood circulates back to the heart as many as 1,000 times a day.
- Young people's bodies contain 35,000,000,000,000 (35 trillion) red blood cells. After 120 days, 1.2 billion red blood cells will expire and be excreted while the bone marrow, much of which is located in the ribs, skull and spine, will create new cells to replace the degenerated ones.
Single donor platelets
Single donor red cells
Blood Donor Criteria
1. Donors must weigh more than 45 kilograms and be in good health.
2. Donors must be between the ages of 17-70 years. Those who are 17 years of age and wish to donate, must have permission from parents. A first time donor must be less than 55 years old.
2.1 Criteria for donors more than 60-70 years old
2.1.1 Criteria for donors more than 60-65 years old
1) Donors have been consistently giving blood until the age of 60.
2) Donors may donate blood not more than 3 times a year (every 4 months)
3) Donors must have their Complete Blood Count (CBC) checked every time before donating blood.
4) Donors must have their Serum Ferritin (SF), Blood Chemistry (BC) checked once every year.
5) Doctors or nurses have considered and recorded abnormal SF, Hb,
Hematocrit and other abnormal results from olaboratories.
If the blood test results and blood pressure are normal, then the donation of blood is permitted.
2.1.2 Criteria for donors more than 65-70 years old
1) Donors have been consistently giving blood from ages 60-65 years old.
2) Donors may not donate blood more than two times a year (every 6 months).
3) Donors must have their CBC checked every time before donating blood
4) Donors must have their BC, SF, and EKG checked once every year.
5) Donors must have a medical certificate written by a doctor giving them permission to donate blood.
3. Donors must get plenty of sleep the night before donating blood.
4. Donors may not have diarrhea or symptoms of a fever 7 days before donating.
5. Women donors may not be pregnant, or breastfeeding at the time of donation. Women may not donate if they have delivered, or have had an abortion within the last six months
6. Donors may not donate if they have experienced a drastic loss of weight, without knowing the cause, within the last 3 months.
7. Donors taking aspirin, or other pain medicines must have stopped taking medicine 3 days prior to donating. Donors taking antibiotics need to have stopped taking antibiotics 7 days prior to donating.
8. Donors may not have asthma, chronic skin conditions, tuberculosis or other allergies.
9. Donors may not have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, thyroid condition, cancer, etc.
10. Donors who have had tooth extraction, filling, scaling, or root canal treatment must allow 3 days to pass prior to donating.
11. Donors that have undergone any major surgery must wait 6 months before donating. Donors that have undergone any minor surgery must wait 1 month before donating.
12. Donors and their marriage/ sexual partners may not practice risky sexual behavior.
13. Donors may not have any record of drug addiction-if a having served term, donors must wait at least 3 years before donating, and be in good health.
14. Donors that have ear piercings, body tattoos, erasing of body tattoos or received acupuncture, must wait more than 1 year after their procedure to donate.
15. Donors who have a record of receiving treatment with a blood transfusion must wait more than 1 year to donate blood.
16. Donors that have a record of malaria, or had been infected, must have no symptoms or be cured for at least 3 years before donating blood. Donors who have been to places that have known malaria outbreaks must not allow one year to pass before being able to donate blood.
17. Donors must not have received any vaccinations 14 days or serum 1 year prior to donating.
18. Donors must have eaten prior to donating. Refrain from eating food containing high amounts of protein, for example: steamed rice with chicken, rice with stewed pork, fried dishes, sweet dishes, and dishes made with coconut.
Preparation before donating blood
· Donors must get enough sleep the day before donating blood
· Donors must be in excellent health and not taking any antibiotics
· Donors must eat prior to donating.Donors must refrain from eating high cholesterol food such as steamed rice with chicken, coconut milk, fried and sweet food, etc. These foods will make the color of the plasma turn into a blurry, opaque white, whichcannot be used.
· Donors must drink 3-4 glasses of water followed by fruit juice, milk, and sweet drinks to increase the amount of blood flow in the body. It will also help protect side effects after the donation such as weariness and dizziness.
· Refrain from drinking alcohol 24 hours prior to donating blood.
· Refrain from smoking before and after donating blood for 1 hour so the lungs can produce good blood.
During the donation
· Donors are advised to wear a shirt that doesn’t have tight sleeves and can fold up above the elbow 3 inches.
· Choose the arm where the Black blood vein is clearly visible. This way, the blood will be able to flow constantly into the bag. The area of the skin that is punctured should not have rashes or bruises. If you are allergic to the antiseptic like alcohol, please inform the nurses.
· Donors must be calm, not afraid, or scared.
· Donors must not chew gum or candy while donating blood.
· During the donation of blood, donors should squeeze the rubber ball constantly to let the blood flow. If donors have abnormal conditions such as dizziness, symptoms of fainting, numbness, please inform the nurses in the area.
· After donating blood, rest on the bed DO NOT IMMEDIATELY GET OFF because this may cause dizziness that can lead to fainting. Rest for a while until you feel better then consume food and drinks provided.
After the donation
· Donors are advised to drink the water provided and drink more water than usual for one day.
· Donors must refrain from going into saunas or exercising that produces a lot of sweat. Donors are also advised to reduce the work use of the arm that was punctured for 12 hours after donation.
· Donors must not rush to get up, please rest until you are sure that you are normal again. If there is any dizziness or symptoms of fainting, please inform the nurses immediately.
· Do not be surprised if blood comes out of the puncture wound. Use your other hand to press down on the bandage, put pressure and lift the arm up high for 3 to 5 minutes. If blood is still coming out, please see the doctor or the nurses.
· Donors must refrain from climbing up to high places.
· Donors are advised to consume food with iron and take the medications given once a day until finished.
Translated by Piyada Chaiyakiturajai
19 September 2012
Rare blood group
The National Blood Centre is appealing for Rh-negative blood for patients in 33 hospitals throughout the country. At present the demand for Rh-negative blood in hospitals is increasing by about 40 units/month while supply of the blood is only half of the demand. It is very rare to find Rh-negative blood group among Thai people. It is only 0.3% of the population.
Rh-nagative blood donors, please kindly contact or come to the National Blood Centre at your convenience.
The office hours of the Centre are as follows.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday 0800 – 1630 hours
Tuesday and Thursday 0730 – 1930 hours
Saturday, Sunday and national holidays 0830 – 1530 hours
Tel. 02 256 4300, 02 256 1637 ext 1760, 1761