Blood Donation, Is It Risky?

Blood transfusion is required for surgery, for treatment of various diseases affecting blood formation, as well as for treatment of severe anemia. Blood components are transfused for patients of hemophilia. Blood is also required in accidents (road traffic accidents) where it is needed urgently.

Following are various types of blood donation:

  • Whole blood: this is the most common type of blood donation, especially in developing countries. In this, a unit of whole blood is collected from a voluntary donor. The blood is then separated into plasma, red cells, and platelets.
  • Platelets: platelets are collected using apheresis and it can be done alone or may be done along with plasma at the same time. Donor is hooked to a machine and only platelets are collected along with some plasma and rest of blood returned to the donor.
  • Plasma: in this case only plasma is collected using a special process called apheresis.
  • Red cells: in this case only red cells are collected using apheresis. Red cells are usually required to treat patients with severe anemia, who need to increase hemoglobin count urgently.

Is blood donation risky? What are the possible risks associated with blood donation?

This is a common question asked by many prospective blood donors. Blood donation is very safe, if all safety precautions are followed. New, sterile and disposable equipment should be used to prevent risk of blood borne disease to the donor. A normal healthy adult can donate approximately 20% of total blood volume. A healthy adult have more than 5 liters of blood and theoretically can donate up to one liter of blood at a given time. However, to be on safer side usually only one unit of blood (approximately 500 ml) is usually accepted for donation from an adult at a time. Your body replaces the blood volume within 24 hours of donation, however it takes several weeks to replace red blood cells. A healthy adult can donate one unit of blood every three to four months without causing any harm to his/her health.

If you are apprehensive about blood donation and think it is risky, you got it wrong. Blood donation is very safe when all aseptic precautions are used and which are used for sure. There is no risk involve in blood donation. Hence, do not hesitate and go and donate blood and do a good humanitarian work and feel happiness in heart.

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