Blood Donation: Procedure, Advantages, and Disadvantages

Numerous people all around the world rely on donated blood to stay alive. There are certain illnesses or injuries which lead to a drop in the blood level. In such people, the donated blood is transfused to maintain the level.

Blood donation is a procedure where a person donates blood voluntarily, which is used in transfusions or made into biopharmaceutical medications by the process of fractionation.

Blood Donation Procedure

Blood donation procedure involves 4 steps.

  1. Registration. On arrival at the blood bank, you have to go through paperwork which involves your complete information like your name, address, and the phone number.
  2. Medical History and Physical Examination. A blood bank employee asks a few confidential questions and performs a short health examination. Blood pressure, pulse, and temperature are noted. A drop of blood is taken from a finger prick to test the iron level of the donor’s blood.
  3. Donation. While donating blood the donor is asked to lie down on the cot. A phlebotomist cleans the arm and inserts a sterile needle into the vein.
  4. Donating one unit or one pint of blood takes around 10 minutes. After donating blood the arm is raised and a bit of pressure is applied to it, as it helps your blood clot. The area is sealed with a bandage.
  5. Refreshments. After the procedure is over the donor is given snack and drinks to help the body get back to normal. After sitting and relaxing for at least 10 minutes he can get back to normal work.

Advantages of Blood Donation

Donated blood is obviously beneficial for the people in need, but there are certain benefits it gives to the donor as well.

Reduces Iron Levels

Iron is required by the body as it leads to the production of red blood cells. As a low level of iron leads to anemia, high levels of it get deposited in different organs of the body such as liver and heart and affect their functioning. Donating blood bring down the level, if high.

Identifies Adverse Health Effects

  • The person donating blood undergoes a few blood test and physical examination before giving blood.
  • There might be few health concerns such as low blood pressure and low blood count, which he might come to know as a part of the donation process.
  • You should not donate blood if there is any blood-borne illness such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV.

Burns Calories

One unit of blood or a pint of blood donated helps burn 650 calories, according to the University of California, San Diego(2). But that doesn’t mean it is an alternative to exercise.

It Gives A Feel-Good Factor

  • The donated blood helps the people who are in need of it.
  • Knowing this, after donating blood, a person feels good about him, feels stress free, and mentally better.
  • In a normal human being blood donation offers a large number of benefits and very little risks. But it’s important to take precautions so that the donor gives blood safely.

Disadvantages of Donating Blood

Blood donation if done under unhygienic conditions can lead to the risk of blood-borne infection. Certain blood banks reuse the needles which can be harmful to the health of the donor.

Therefore it is very important to use new needles and clean hands before blood collection. Both the donors and the person inserting the needle should wash their hands.

After donating blood, a person can experience dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, fainting feeling, which usually goes away within 3 days of giving blood.

If there is a low iron level observed after donating blood, increase in iron-rich food such as meat, spinach, and iron-fortified juices are advised by the health professional.

Blood donation is a simple process but can be of a big difference to someone’s life. Be sure that your health is in a perfect state and the blood donation is done under hygienic circumstances.

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