Blood: The Gift of Life that You can Give

The biggest gift someone can give to another is the gift of life. In today’s era of numerous accidents and diseases, amidst the population boom, it is hard to meet the needs of each and every person who is suffering. This aim can, though, be achieved if we all join hands together and come forward to help. Blood donation is a small gesture but it has tremendous impact on the welfare of human beings. Blood is required not only to treat mass casualties during war and natural calamities but also in everyday affairs such as surgeries, in diseases like anaemia and haemophilia, for women during child birth and so on. Moreover, early diagnosis of diseases and aggressive treatments has increased the demand for blood components. If present blood supplies do not immediately increase, patients, accident victims and those whose lives depend on regular transfusions are at risk for not getting the blood they need and hence for their very survival. One can almost say that blood is that magic potion which gives life to another person.

Some facts about blood and blood donation:

• Human blood has no substitute. Though we have made tremendous discoveries and inventions in science we are not yet able to make blood.. Blood that is donated lasts a little more than 40 days. That means we need to constantly replenish the blood so that it is there when someone needs it.

• Our body has 5.5 litre of blood. When we donate blood only 350 ml - 450 ml of blood is taken depending upon weight of donor. Majority of healthy adults can tolerate withdrawal of one unit of blood.

• The withdrawn blood volume is restored within 24 hours and the haemoglobin and cell components are restored in 2 months. Therefore it is safe to donate blood every three months.

• Donor should be between 18-55 years of age with a weight of 50 kg or above with pulse rate, body temperature and blood pressure should be normal. Both men and women can donate.

• There are only few conditions in which donors are permanently excluded. The donor with history of epilepsy, psychotic disorders, abnormal bleeding tendencies, severe asthma, cardiovascular disorders, malignancy are permanently unfit for blood donation.

• Donors suffering from disease like hepatitis, malaria, measles, mumps, and syphilis may donate blood after full recovery with 3-6 months gap. Also people who have undergone surgery or blood transfusion may safely donate blood after 6-12 months. In case of women donors who are pregnant or lactating, blood is not taken as their iron reserves are already on the lower side.

June 14 is celebrated as World Blood Donor Day (WBDD), every year. The WBDD 2012 theme is "Every Blood Donor is a Hero," focusing on the idea that everyone can be a hero by giving blood. Requirement of safe blood is increasing and regular voluntary blood donations are vital for blood transfusion services. This requirement can only be met if healthy individuals donate blood voluntarily and regularly.

Be a hero, and help save lives!