As you know, blood donations are hardly sufficient to cover the needs of patients in hospitals. Many patients need your blood to overcome a wide range of diseases (cancer, heart and kidney diseases, transplants, traffic casualties, surgery, intensive care patients, etc.).
YOUR BLOOD IS NEEDED NOW
At present, no product has been developed that could substitute and enable us to forego the biologic tissue called blood. Blood donation is therefore an act that makes it possible for us to improve the quality of life or even to save the life of other people. It involves no risk for the donor, who has to fulfil a number of conditions and who will, at all time during the donation, be under qualified medical and nursing supervision. A few minutes of your time could mean years of life for other persons. The donation should not be linked to tragedies or emergency situations, but should rather be regarded as a normal routine act in our lives. Only through regular blood donations will we be able to achieve a sufficient and secure blood stock. Blood and its components have a limited life span: erythrocyte concentrates may only be kept for 42 days while plasma lasts one year and platelets only five days. The need for blood is permanent and, therefore, so must be our donations. Each day, all hospitals need blood or blood components for their patients, as most surgical operations and a lot of medical treatments require blood transfusions.
BLOOD DONATION RECOMMENDATIONS
Anyone aged 18 to 65 and weighing more than 50 kilos may donate blood. It is necessary to meet this minimum weight requirement as each donation means the extraction of a standard amount of blood (450 ml) applicable to all donors. It is recommended that women give blood no more than three times a year, or four times in the case of men, with a minimum interval of at least two months between each donation. As opposed to blood test, there is no need to refrain from eating in order to donate blood. In fact, it is even advised to have a normal meal. For the security of both the donor and the receiver, medical details are written down and a series of tests carried out prior to the donation, while the blood is analysed afterwards.
So, you may donate blood if you are between 18 and 65 years of age and if your weight is above 50 kilos:
- Even if you have had hepatitis before age 12
- Even if you have had a meal
- Even if you have a high cholesterol level
- Even if you regularly take commonly-prescribed drugs
- You may donate blood up to 3 times a year if you are a woman and 4 times if you are a man
Questionnaire to be answered prior to the donation.
The first step to assess if it is appropriate for you to donate blood is to answer a questionnaire aimed at detecting any possible risk factor. The questions of this document are governed by law and their objective is to ensure the safety of both the donor and the future receiver. However, an affirmative answer to the questionnaire will in no case directly invalidate a blood donation. It is the doctor in charge of extracting the blood who will ultimately decide if the extraction must take place or not.
GIVE BLOOD AND SAVE LIVES! Transfusion Centre of the Valencian Community | AGÉNCIA VALENCIANA DE SALUT Ctra. N.332, km.113 | 03550 SANT JOAN (Alicante) Tel. 965 65 81 12 | Fax 965 94 10 47