Blood is the red coloured liquid that flows continuously in our body. Its main function is to transport oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body to keep it functioning. The average volume of blood in a healthy adult is about 10-12 water sachets (5.0 -6.0 litres). Any marked decrease in the quantity of blood requires that the person should be given some blood from another person. This is referred to as blood transfusion. A person who gives blood voluntarily is referred to as a voluntary non-remunerated blood donor.

1. What is blood donation?

Blood donation means giving blood to be used in saving the lives of others.

2. Why should one donate blood?

There is no artificial blood for sale. Blood must therefore be donated freely by somebody out of love for life.

3. How often can one donate?
One can safely donate blood at four monthly intervals

4. What is the age range for donating blood?
You can donate blood if you are between the ages of 17 and 60 years.

5. Why is one not allowed to donate blood before attaining the age of 17 years?
Below 17 years the body has not stored enough iron used to make Haemoglobin (Hb).

6. Why is one not allowed to donate blood after 60 years?
As one ages, the heart and blood vessels become weaker and therefore such people tend to suffer from diseases of these organ systems. However in some special cases, the medical examination is extended for these people. If they are found to be fit, they are allowed to donate.

7. One loses some blood through donation. Will this not affect one’s day-to-day activities?
No. The volume of blood that you donate is just a little less than one water sachet (450mls). In about a day, the body makes up the amount of blood lost. With regards to the blood cells in the body it takes 4-8 weeks for complete replacement.

8. What about the one who does not have enough blood (anaemic)?
This is detected and the donor excluded as a result of the medical screening that is done before donation.

9. I have a small body. Will I be able to donate?
Those who weigh less than 50kg are not accepted for donation.

10. I am scared about giving blood.
Everyone feels a bit like that for the first time. There are several donors of both sexes who have given over 100 donations and continue to donate regularly. The fear disappears after completion of the first donation. It is really a simple procedure.

11. What are the tests performed on each donor before blood donation?
• Body weight
• General inspection of eyes and of skin for absence of lumps, rashes, sores
• Measurement of pulse and blood pressure
• Haemoglobin (Hb) estimation

12. Is blood donation painful?
It is just the feeling of the needle going through the skin. After that, one does not feel anything.

13. What happens to the blood after donation?
Blood is put in a special refrigerator under quarantine. This means, the blood cannot be used until some laboratory tests are done.

14. What are these laboratory tests which are performed?
• Hepatitis B and C
• HIV (1&2)
• Syphilis
• ABO and Rh “D” blood group

15. Why are the laboratory tests not performed before donation?
To get reliable results, the tests are performed in batches in specified ways. There should be no rush with the process.

16. Is there any chance of getting infected by donating blood?
No. The blood collection sets used are sterile and disposable. Once used the needle is

17. How long can blood be stored in a blood bank?
Blood is stored for 35 days in designated blood bank fridges.

18. I am too busy and it is inconvenient. Does it take a long time to donate blood?
From the time you arrive till the time you leave (filling forms, screening, donation and refreshment) is about an hour. The donation
process itself takes 12-15 minutes.

19. Why is blood donation not made compulsory for young people?
Donation means one gives freely without compulsion.

20. Why does the donated blood not clot?
There is a liquid in the blood bag to prevent the blood from clotting. It also helps to preserve the blood cells during the period of

21. Will I feel fine after donation?
Yes. After the donation you will be given refreshment whilst relaxing. You can then go back to your normal activities

22. I have heard of people fainting. Is that common?
• Psychological
• Not taking in any meal before donation or
• Rushing to get up too soon after donating. It is important to rest and take the drink that is

23. Will the blood donation make me weak?
Blood donation does not affect sexuality. Blood donation does not affect the way you work. You must not however perform activities that will make you sweat on the day of donation.

24. How soon can one return to work?
You can go back to work or school on the same day except when taking part in any vigorous activity such as climbing, driving a heavy vehicle or working at hazardous depths or heights.

25. How will you ensure confidentiality with any information I provide or my test results?
All information and results are kept confidential and not disclosed to any third party.

26. Appeals for donation are not frequently done. Does it mean you have enough blood most of the time?
The blood bank never has enough. Educational activities are carried out to focal groups. It may be that we have not spread the net very wide. We depend on our voluntary blood donors and voluntary donor organizers to bring in their friends, relatives and organized

27. Patients bring in their relatives and friends to donate for them. Is this not enough?
It is far from enough. We do not generally like this system of family/replacement donation. Evidence from the world over indicates that blood from regular voluntary unpaid donors is the foundation of a safe and adequate blood supply.

28. Are there any benefits of blood donation?
Yes. Blood donation is a noble, selfless service. It gives the donor a feeling of joy and contentment. Blood donation is a civic responsibility. You also get the opportunity of having a free medical examination/health check done for you.


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