The idea of blood donation for the humanitarian propose of saving lives has become part of our inherited culture. Besides, it takes little effort to donate a pint of blood with no associated health risk for the donor. Yet routine procedures exist to screen for possible diseases the blood may carry and transmit to the recipient like HIV and viral hepatitis but chances of infection are very slim indeed. Why are we so much attracted to the blood and its transfusion to save lives? Well, blood is the very stuff of life and we would not be living otherwise. In spite of so many synthetic this and that, no technology could succeed in replacing that precious component that makes up 8% of the body.
So you have decided to donate blood like everybody else? A noble thought no doubt and quite achievable in fact once in 56 days if it is whole blood, more often if it concerns platelets and plasma alone, maybe 7 days. To consider that each donation could save three lives is quite an encouragement especially when traffic accidents and disease take a heavy toll on human lives each day. If we were to consider world figures, that would be a large number of lives lost each day. Besides, blood donation does not result in a very long shelf life for the blood and supplies need to be replenished with a steady stream of donors. What would happen during war or a natural disaster? Blood banks have taken the responsibility of ensuring that supply as best they can. Potential donors do register online and mention their blood groups so that they can be summoned in an emergency.
William Harvey and Karl Landsteiner made it all possible, the former in 1628 discovering the circulation of blood and the latter that discovered blood groups in 1901. Blood donation today has become a shared duty. “Safe blood for saving mothers” was the profound message for World Blood Donor Day on 14 June 2014. One wonders if the blood you donate is essentially paid for if it is all that valuable a resource that can bring life to the dying. While it would seem that a majority of donors do not receive compensation especially in the developed countries, some countries do follow a procedure of granting remuneration. And why not if it is a third world country where incomes are scarce and a section of the society does not know where the next meal would come from?
Besides the danger that the donated bloods mighty carry potential disease, the health of the donor needs to be considered. The donor should be feeling well and in good condition. Temperature, blood pressure and pulse would be checked. Otherwise there is no cause to worry regarding the simple and safe process of blood donation. Just like in the process of injections, a sterile needle would be used and then discarded. How long would the process take? Maybe ten minutes and then you say goodbye to the blood donation center.
There is no need for worry concerning your own blood stock either. Consider the fact that an average body contains 10 pints of blood. The usual blood donation consists of one pint. The blood manufacturing process is constantly taking place in the body and so the pint gets replenished somewhat like the growth of hair and nails. The donated blood is screened for disease after which it is stored in the blood bank if not immediately used to save human life. Emergency needs sometimes arise but the blood groups should match. Make it your life vision to save lives.