Blood donation is an incredibly noble cause. There are numerous reasons why one should donate blood at regular intervals. Most importantly, it is not just a selfless act that can save someone’s life, but also has health benefits for the donor. However, there are certain things one should keep in mind before donating blood.
Whether you are donating blood for the first time, or have done it before, you should know and remember some key points before handing your arm over.
Blood Donation Eligibility
Not everyone is eligible to donate blood. For starters, the minimum age for blood donation in India is 18 years. Anyone under this age should not donate blood. This age restriction has been imposed based on health concerns for people under the age of 18. There is no upper limit for blood donation.
You must weigh at least 50kg and the blood pressure must read between 90/50 and 180/100 to be eligible for donation. If you are suffering from cough, cold, or fever, hold off the donation until it resolves. In the case of chronic diseases, the donation should not be made. You should not have any STDs to donate blood. In case gonorrhoea or syphilis, the donation should only be made 12 months after the treatment is complete.
Apart from this, a female donor should not be menstruating or pregnant at the time of donation.
Risks Associated with Blood Donation
There are usually minor health disruptions after blood donation. Short term issues include bruising around the needle area, sore arm, weakness, dizziness, and irritation in nerve. Experts have also noticed a slight iron deficiency in regular long-time donors. This is because the donor’s body loses some iron in the process each time. Usually, there are no blood-related problems faced by the donor because the human body can renew the fluid within 24 hours of the donation.
Food and Medication
Before donating blood, it is necessary to take care of your health. It safeguards you and your future blood receiver from any backlash.
Drink a lot of water and eat healthy meals for at least a couple of days leading to your donation day. Avoid fatty food, alcohol, and smoking. Make sure you get enough sleep the night before the donation. If you are a platelet donor, do not take any aspirins for a couple of days before the donation.
After you donate your blood, eat some sweets and a lot of iron-rich food. It helps in regaining the iron loss.
Benefits for the Donor
Blood donation improves your cardiac health immensely by regulating the flow of blood, helping you keep heart-related disorders at bay. Moreover, this noble cause provides a sense of satisfaction, elevating your mental health, and making you feel happier. Besides, it is very important to have a health insurance
policy, which can support you in case of any emergencies.
Blood donation doesn’t get you an award, but the sense of fulfilment is worth much more. Your generous contribution to society can potentially save many lives with each ounce of your blood.