World Blood Donor Day
Created by Dr Shipra Mathur Updated on Jun 14, 2018
Dear parents, today the 14th of June is World Blood Donors day! This is celebrated as a day of gratitude to the many blood donors amongst us and their spirit of selflessness. It marks the birthday of a physician called Karl Landsteiner who discovered human blood groups.
Did you know that every year our nation requires about 5 crore units of blood, of which only half the amount is availale? The requirement for blood is huge and often urgent. For example a an accident victim may require as much as 50 -100 units of blood. Cancer patients, sickle cell or thalessemia patents require transfusions throughout their lives. In fact, by an estimate every two seconds someone in the country needs blood.
- There is no substitute for human blood as it cannot be manufactured. Therefore doctors have to depend enirely on voluntary blood donations to meet the demand. The blood you donate is stored in blood banks nationwide to be used as needed.
- There are four main blood types: A, B, AB and O. O-negative blood type donors are called ‘universal donors’ as their blood can be given to people of all blood types. Only 7 percent of people in India have O-negative blood type.
- During blood donation 1 unit of blood is taken which is about 400- 450 ml . An average adult has about 10 units of blood in the body. Typically, two or three different type of blood products like red cells, plasma, platelets etc can be derived from one whole blood donation. Hence one single donation can help save up to three lives.
- Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets. The body replenishes these quite quickly- some in a matter of hours and others in a few weeks. So one need not worry about becoming deficient and ‘weak’ in any way after blood donation.
- Donating blood is a safe and simple process.
- Every blood donor’s medical history is taken and a brief examination plus hemoglobin check is done to ensure it is safe for the donor to give blood.
- The actual blood donation typically takes less than 10-12 minutes. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded. So there should be no concern about infection. Refreshments are usually provided at finish.
- All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases before it can be transfused to any patient
- To be eligible, a donor should be healthy and not suffering from any transmittable disease. They should be between 18 to 60 years of age with a Hb above 12.5 %. A donor can donate blood again after a minimum gap of 3 months.
Hopefully this has helped raise your awareness about blood donation and its need. The gift of blood is the gift of life and is a most satisfying experience. So if like me, you or your friend/family member is a blood donor too, you should be proud of them. Stay healthy and take care!