Importance of Blood Donation
Can you imagine your loved one being facing medical emergency? And you need a particular blood group to save their life? Now you can understand the real importance of blood donation that you have never known before. Blood is a lifeline with no other substitute. There are so many medical treatments that we take for granted, would never be possible without the availability of blood. More than 25% of us will need blood at least once in our lifetime.
Blood is not needed just for emergencies but also to treat many diseases. Blood has three main components which are vital for different uses. These components are: Red cells, Plasma and Platelets. Red cells are used predominantly in treatments for cancer and blood diseases as well as treating anaemia and in surgeries for transplants and burns. Plasma provides proteins, nutrients and clotting agent that is vital to stop bleeding- it is the most versatile component of your blood. Platelets are tiny cells used to help patients at a high risk of bleeding. They also contribute to the repair of damaged body tissue.
Maintaining a regular supply of blood to all the people who need it is not easy. Blood component have a short shelf life and predicting demand can be difficult. Every blood donor is contributing to a challenge to provide life-saving products whenever and wherever they are needed.
Most people can give blood, as long as you are fit and healthy, weigh over 7 stone 12lbs(50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before) you should be able to give blood.
You can find your nearest blood donation session on NHS’s website www.blood.co.uk. Make sure you eat well and drink plenty of fluids before and after donating the blood., but avoid alcohol. Wear loose and comfortable clothing, avoid tight sleeves. It is normal to feel nervousness, take a friend with you or you can bring a book or an MP3 player so you can relax during your visit. You will be asked few questions before you can give blood, it is important safety precaution. Knowing your medical, body piercing and travel history will save you time. Around 470ml of blood is taken as a donation, which is just under a pint.
Most people feel fine after donating and you can resume your normal activity as long as you feel well. But do avoid heavy lifting, pushing or picking up heavy objects for at least four hours after donating. However you should not give blood if you are undertaking a hazardous activity that day. This includes hobbies such as climbing, flying or diving or occupations, such as driving a crane, HGV or emergency service vehicle and certain building works.
You can also call NHS 24 hour donor helpline on 0300 123 23 23 for further information.
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