Its the begining of the year 2010…As per the Chinese Zodiac we are nearing the end of the Year of the Ox…to be succeeded by the Tiger (from Feb 14).
Blood donation is a noble generous act…..something which I always approved but never participated in…..I think the fear of the needle held me back.
As a begining to this year, I decided to vanquish that fear & strengthen my reasons for the need to donate blood.

Someone needs blood every two seconds.

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Q. Why is Blood Needed?
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Blood product Main uses
Whole blood Open heart surgery, newborns
Red blood cells Trauma, anemia, surgery
Platelets Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy
Fresh frozen plasma Massive transfusions
Plasma Burns
Cryoprecipitate Hemophilia
Q. Why should I donate ?


  • Reduce the chance of heart diseases by as much as 1/3rd.
  • Enhance the production of new Red Blood Cells.
  • Helps in fighting hemochromitosis (iron overload disorder).
  • Burns calories.One pint of blood (450 ml) when donated burns 650 calories in donor’s body.
  • Donor gets a basic blood test carried out.
Q. Whats the shelf life of donated blood ?


  • Platelets must be used within 5 days of donation.
  • Red blood cells may be stored under refrigeration for a maximum of 42 days.
  • Plasma is generally frozen and must be used within one year.
Q. Who Can Donate ?

You can donate Blood if :

  • You are between 18 and 60 years.
  • Your weigh over 45 kg.
  • Your haemoglobin is over 12.5 gms.
  • Your last blood donation was three months earlier.
Q. Which Tests are carried out before blood donation ?

The core tests recommended by the World Health Organization are :

  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigen.
  • Antibody to Hepatitis C.
  • Antibody to HIV, usually subtypes 1 and 2.
  • Serologic test for Syphilis.
Q. How is the Blood taken ?


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  • The blood is drawn from a large arm vein close to the skin, usually the median cubital vein on the inside of the elbow.
  • The skin over the blood vessel is cleaned with an antiseptic such as iodine or chlorhexidine to prevent skin bacteria from contaminating the collected blood and also to prevent infections where the needle pierced the donor’s skin.
  • The donor may also be prompted to hold an object and squeeze it repeatedly to increase the blood flow through the vein.
  • Whole Blood Method :
    • The most common method is collecting the blood from the donor’s vein into a container.
    • The blood is usually stored in a flexible plastic bag that also contains sodium citrate, phosphate, dextrose, and sometimes adenine. This combination keeps the blood from clotting and preserves it during storage.
  • Apheresis :
    • Apheresis is a blood donation method where the blood is passed through an apparatus that separates out one particular constituent and returns the remainder to the donor.
    • Using this method an individual can donate plasma or platelets much more frequently than they can safely donate whole blood.
Q. What blood type is needed most?


  • Common blood types are needed because there are many patients with them. Less common blood types are needed because there are fewer donors to give them.
  • People with O- blood are particularly in demand because they are the “universal donor.”
  • AB types are universal recipients.
  • This relationship is reversed for plasma products. AB type plasma can be transfused to all patients, while O- types are the universal plasma recipients.
  • Therefore, all types are really needed!


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