Everything you need to know about donating

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“Anyone can donate blood, anyone can save lives.” Today is World Blood Donor Day. It is an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO). Every year, this day is commemorated on June 14 with the aim of raising awareness around the world about the need for safe blood and its by-products for transfusion and the crucial contribution of voluntary and unpaid blood donors to national health systems.

This day brings together national health authorities and governments to provide adequate resources and put in place infrastructure and systems to increase blood collection from voluntary and unpaid blood donors.

Blood shortages are particularly acute in developing countries. The need for blood is universal, but access to blood for all who need it is not. The safety of blood and its by-products and their transfusion is an essential aspect of care and public health. Donating blood saves millions of lives and improves the health and quality of life of many patients every day.

All countries need voluntary, unpaid donors who donate blood regularly, to ensure that everyone who needs blood has access. During the Covid-19 pandemic, despite limited mobility and other challenges, blood donors in many countries continued to donate plasma and blood to patients who needed transfusion.

This effort during an unprecedented time of crisis signals the crucial role of well-organized, committed and unpaid voluntary and unpaid blood donors in ensuring a safe and sufficient blood supply in emergency and normal times.

For 2021, the slogan for World Blood Donor Day is: “Donate blood and make the world beat.”

He underlines the importance of the global call for more people all over the world to donate blood regularly and contribute to better health. It emphasizes the essential contribution of blood donors to rocking the world by saving lives and improving the health of others.

A particular focus of this year’s campaign will be the role of young people in ensuring a safe blood supply. In many countries, young people have been at the forefront of activities and initiatives to ensure a safe blood supply through voluntary, unpaid blood donation.

Young people form a large part of the population in many societies which are generally full of enthusiasm, idealism and creativity, have given blood.

Italy will host World Blood Donor Day 2021 through its National Blood Center. The global event will be held in Rome on June 14, 2021.

The goals of this year’s campaign are to thank blood donors around the world and to educate a wider audience about the need for regular, unpaid blood donation; it also aims to promote community values ​​of blood donation by strengthening community solidarity and generating social cohesion. It aims to encourage young people to embrace the humanitarian call to donate blood and inspire others to do the same.

Here’s what you need to know about donating blood:

There are 4 main blood groups (types of some blood) – A, B, AB and O. Your blood group is determined by the genes you inherit from your parents. Each group can be RhD positive or RhD negative, which means there are in total 8 blood groups.

Transfusable components which may be derived from donated blood are red blood cells, platelets, plasma, cryoprecipitated (cryo) AHF and granulocytes. An additional component, white blood cells, is often removed from donated blood before the transfusion.

How can a donation help several people?

In modern medical treatments, patients may be given a pint of whole blood or just the specific components of the blood needed to treat their particular condition. This treatment approach, called blood component therapy, allows multiple patients to benefit from a pint of donated whole blood.

Giving the “right” type of blood donation – depending on your blood type and the patient’s needs – helps ensure the best use of your valuable contribution.

Plasma donation

According to the American Red Cross, “When you donate AB Elite, you donate plasma and some of your blood is used to treat patients in an emergency. AB plasma can be given to anyone, regardless of their blood type. Plasma is collected through an automated process that separates plasma from other blood components and then returns your red blood cells and platelets to you safely and comfortably. AB Elite maximizes your donation and only takes a few minutes longer than donating blood. The quantity of plasma you can make a donation is based on your body weight.

Who It Helps: AB Plasma is used in emergency and trauma situations to help stop bleeding.

Ideal blood groups: AB positive, AB negative

Donation frequency: Every 28 days, up to 13 times / year

Duration: approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes

Platelet donation

Platelets are tiny cells in your blood that form clots and stop the bleeding. Platelets are most often used by cancer patients and others with life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

According to the American Red Cross, “When you donate platelets, an apheresis machine collects your platelets as well as some plasma, returning your red blood cells and most of the plasma to you. A single donation of platelets can result in multiple transfusable units, while it takes about five donations of whole blood to constitute a single transfusable unit of platelets.

Who It Helps: Platelets are an essential part of cancer treatments and organ transplant procedures, as well as other surgical procedures.

Time it takes: about 2.5-3 hours

Ideal blood groups: A positive, A negative, B positive, O positive, AB positive and AB negative

Donation frequency: Every 7 days, up to 24 times / year

Gift of Red Power

According to the American Red Cross, “When you donate Power Red, you donate a concentrated dose of red blood cells, the part of your blood used each day for those who need transfusions as part of their care. This type of donation uses an automated process that separates your red blood cells from other blood components and then safely and comfortably returns your plasma and platelets to you. “

Who It Helps: Red blood cells from a Power Red donation are typically given to trauma patients, newborns and emergency transfusions during childbirth, people with sickle cell anemia, and anyone with blood loss.

Duration: around 1h30

Ideal blood groups: O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative

Donation frequency: Every 112 days, up to 3 times / year

Whole blood donation

“Whole blood is the most flexible type of donation. It can be transfused in its original form or used to help several people when it is separated into its specific components of red blood cells, plasma and platelets, ”the Red Cross said.

Who It Helps: Whole blood is frequently given to trauma patients and people undergoing surgery.

Duration: about 1 hour

Ideal blood groups: All blood groups

Donation frequency: Every 56 days

Before donating blood, you must be in good health and make sure that they meet the basic eligibility criteria. Donating blood is a small act of kindness, but it saves lives. Donate blood, become a savior!


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