In Brazil, blood donation campaigns are carried out regularly. This is unfortunately not yet a habit of the majority of the population. The consequence of disinterest appears every time a blood bank accuses them of having empty stocks, even though a single donation can benefit several lives . In today’s article, everything about donating blood, an act of solidarity and citizenship.
Reasons to Donate Blood
Donating blood benefits everyone. It is an attitude that guarantees hope and health to individuals who need it most, and also to the voluntary donor, who in no way has his health affected and yet shows compassion towards others . Some good reasons to become a blood donor today:
- In each donation, only 450ml of blood is taken (an adult person has an average of 5 liters of blood)
- A single donation can be made for up to four people
- There are no risks of contracting other illnesses during donation
- Donated blood is quickly replenished by the body
- The donor gets a day off from work (every 12 months worked and as long as there is formal proof)
- Science has not yet found a substitute for blood
Although there are many whys, not all individuals are able to donate. There are some basic requirements set out in standards of agencies such as the Ministry of Health and the American Association of Blood Banks.
How Old Can You Donate Blood?
People between the ages of 16 and 69 can donate blood, as long as they weigh more than 50 kg. For those between 60 and 69 years old, donation is only allowed if it has already occurred before the age of 60.
In either case, the presentation of an official document with a photo is mandatory . Children under 18 can donate if accompanied by their parents or guardians. Otherwise, formal authorization is required.
Blood Donation Requirements
The blood donation procedure is fast and safe. All the material used is disposable , with no risk of contamination. As for the donor, it is important to be aware of a number of requirements, in addition to the required age range and weight:
- Having good health conditions, not having the flu, fever and current infectious or inflammatory conditions
- Be fed, without having consumed fatty food for at least three hours prior to donation
- Wait at least two hours if the procedure is done after lunch
- Have slept at least 6 hours the night before
Between one donation and another, women should give an interval of at least three months, being able to donate blood three times a year. For men, the interval is two months, and the frequency of donation is four times a year.
Temporary Impediments to Donating Blood
Temporary blood donation bans, as the name suggests, concern transient pictures presented by the donor . Are they:
- Blood transfusion (it is necessary to wait 12 months)
- Flu, colds, diarrhea and fevers (you have to wait for 7 days after the symptoms disappear)
- Ingestion of alcoholic beverage in the previous 12 hours
- Having performed tooth extraction less than 72 hours ago
- Have had a tattoo or pierced in the last 12 months (the Ministry of Health indicates that piercings in the mouth or genital region make the donation unfeasible)
- Having had hernias, varicose veins, appendicitis and tonsillectomy less than three months ago
- Be in the gestational period or breastfeeding (can only donate breastfeeding mothers who have given birth more than 12 months ago)
- Having undergone endoscope examinations in the last 6 months
- Have made a vaccine (in this case, the donor must inform, the possible temporary ban will depend on which vaccine it is)
- Exposure to risky situations in relation to sexually transmitted diseases (you have to wait 12 months to donate blood)
- Having undergone polytrauma injuries without severe sequelae, cholecystectomy, thyroidectomy, nephrectomy, hysterectomy, fracture reduction and colectomy (you must wait for 6 months)
Whatever the impediments, it is essential to inform about them before the donation. Any mistake or concealment can cause problems for those who receive the blood. What was a sympathetic gesture can become an irreversible problem.
Definitive Impediments to Donating Blood
There are some definitive impediments to blood donation, that is, individuals who cannot become donors . This is the case for:
- Injecting drug users
- People with Hepatitis B and C , AIDS, diseases related to HTLV I and II viruses and Chagas disease
- Who had a hepatitis after 11 years
In addition to these requirements, there is another important ban. Individuals who have had malaria at some point in their lives are also permanently prevented.
Can You Donate Blood?
Unfortunately, there is an irony in this issue. Although pregnant women produce a volume of 30% to 50% more blood, they are not advised to donate blood .
The reason is noble: pregnancy is a time when the organism is completely involved with the baby’s development. Compromising the iron supply can cause anemia, which is very harmful to the mother and fetus.
Another important point concerns breastfeeding. Lactating women are also not allowed to donate blood , except in cases where the birth took place more than a year ago.
Donate Blood During Menstruation
There are no contraindications. The woman can donate menstruating blood normally , without compromising her health. The blood eliminated during the menstrual period is already predicted by the female body, that is, the body understands and adapts very well.
The exception occurs in cases where the patient has some type of related disease. A large volume of menstruation, much higher than usual, can be a deterrent. In these cases, consultation with your gynecologist is required.
How to Donate Blood?
After verifying that all conditions are met, to donate blood, just look for collection units, such as blood centers. All blood types are accepted. The procedure is safe and takes an average of 40 minutes, between registration, sorting and collection.
The volume of donated blood is restored to the organism within 24 hours. However, immediately after donation, some precautions are important:
- Drink plenty of water
- Do not smoke for at least two hours
- Do not drink and avoid physical efforts for the next 12 hours
- Keep the dressing in place for at least four hours
- Avoid driving large vehicles, working on scaffolding and practicing sports such as diving and skydiving
Thousands of transfusions, cancer procedures, transplants and surgeries are performed daily. For all these major interventions, blood is more than necessary – it is irreplaceable. Adopting the spontaneous culture of bestowal is a truly brilliant attitude.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.