WHAT IS BLOOD DONATION AND WHO DOES IT HELP?
With the term blood donation we mean the giving of blood through transfusion and by extension the entire organization involved in receiving, maintenance and disposal of blood.
In Greece, more than 700,000 units of blood are needed every year, only 35% of which is collected from volunteer blood donors, while the largest percentage is collected from replacement donors, ie relatives and friends of the patient.
WHAT ABOUT THE BLOOD THAT YOU OFFER?
The blood collected from the blood donation is rarely used in this form. In most cases, it is separated into three main components (plasma, red and platelets) and transferred according to the need of the patient, which is why one unit of blood can potentially save up to three lives.
The first step of the blood donation is to check the compatibility of both the donor and the patient prior to the transfusion. In case it is compatible, a patient is given the necessary ingredient:
Red blood cells are mainly used in cases of loss of blood volume, such as accidents and childbirth and to treat anemia and other blood diseases. They are maintained at 4 ° C and must be used within 35-42 days from the day of their collection.
The plasma is used as source of coagulation factors, such as tumor or surrogate for the production of albumin (a protein used to treat burns and shock). It is maintained frozen for a period of one year.
From the sequential freezing and thawing treatment, a small part of the plasma, the cryoprecipitate is created, containing thickening agents and used as a source of factor VIII for clotting fibrinogen.
The platelets are responsible for the clotting of blood and used to treat major diseases. They should be produced within eight hours of blood samples, stored at room temperature under constant agitation, to be operated and maintained only for 5 days.
CAN I GIVE BLOOD?
Yes you can participate in a blood donation, if:
- You are between 18 and 65 years old. Only in special cases and after doctors’ orders individuals of 17 years old or over 65 years old can donate blood.
- You weigh more than 50kg. Weighing less than 50kg, it is usually risky to participate in a blood donation.
- You’re healthy. If you are ill / or take medications, your blood may have adverse effects on humans who will get it. You can not participate in a blood donation if you had in the past, jaundice or ipatitda, or if you had some form of cancer, heart disease, epilepsy or any bleeding disorder. If you have questions about some specific drugs you are taking, please contact the doctor who is present in every blood donation in order to solve all your questions about medications or the presence of diseases.
- You have a safe lifestyle. The use of substances, multiple sexual partners, tattoos or piercings performed in the last six months are considered high-risk activities and may reject you from participating in a blood donation. Moreover, if you have a high-risk occupation, you are training for championship or preparing for a major sporting event, you should avoid blood donation for your own safety.
- You are determined to you save lives. Just because you can.
However, there are factors that may not currently allow you to participate in a blood donation. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
THE PROCEDURE OF BLOOD DONATION
To meet the necessary requirements of the donor.
Not to meet any of the exclusion criteria of the blood donation.
To eat a light meal 3-4 hours before the blood donation.
To consume plenty of fluids before and after the blood donation.
Before the blood donation, each volunteer is asked to complete the blood donor’s questionnaire (the questionnaire is essential every time, in every blood donation).
Check the level of hemoglobin (with a pinch finger).
Check the pressure and pulse of the volunteer and respond to questions concerning the its medical history.
During the blood donation, each volunteer lies in a chair and within a 10 minutes period he/she is giving 450ml of blood, sufficient to save up three lives.
After the blood donation, orange juice, cheese and toast are offered , while it is recommended to avoid hasty movements to make sure that you feel quite good.
The process of blood donation can be repeated by the same person after three months.
Avoid stressful, anxious situations and vigorous exercise.
Consume plenty of fluids (non-alcoholic) to replenish the lost blood volume.
Take care of the wound and keep it clean and stable for some time.
If it bleeds, lift your arm up and push firmly until the bleeding stops.
Avoid lifting heavy objects in the same day.
In case of weak or dizzy, lie down with your feet up.
A mild pain or a bruise in the hand that we took blood, after the blood donation is perfectly normal.
Blood consists of several components, and each one requires a different time for its substitution. Plasma (the liquid component of blood) is replenished within 24 hours. Red blood cells need 3-4 days to return to normal levels and iron 6-8 weeks.