Blood is a body fluid which contains plasma, blood cells and platelets and provides nutrition and oxygen that is required for cell growth. It also removes wastes from cells. Therefore, blood is one of the most significant components of life. The reason behind the need for blood donors is to save lives. Every two seconds within a day someone needs blood. Blood cannot be manufactured outside the body and has a limited shelf life. Hence blood must be constantly replenished by generous blood donors. “There are several reasons for a blood donation for example when performing treatment for cancer, undergoing orthopedic and cardiovascular surgeries and being treated for inherited blood disorders etc,” said Dr. Lakshan Jayathilaka, Medical Officer at the Base Hospital, Karawanella.
Safe blood and blood products and their transfusion are a critical aspect of care and public health. They save million of lives and improve the health and quality of life of many patients every day. The need for blood is universal, but blood shortages exist in developing countries like in Sri Lanka. Throughout the present pandemic, despite challengers, blood donors in many countries have continued to donate blood and plasma. This extraordinary effort during a time of unprecedented crisis highlights the commitment of voluntary blood donors to ensure a safe and sufficient blood supply.
This year the slogan for World Blood Donor Day is “Give blood and keep the world beating”. The message highlights the essential contribution blood donors make to keeping the world pulsating. It sends a global message to all people- specially the young- to donate blood regularly and contribute to better health. This time World Blood Donor Day 2021 will be held in Rome on June 14. The main purpose of the event is to see people being involved and offer support to ensure there is recognition in giving blood to safe lives. It will also underscore that services provided to donate safe blood and blood products are an essential elements of the healthcare system.
According to the WHO, there are several prerequisites to fulfill by blood donors
Age –18 to 60 years
Weight –more than 50kg
Haemoglobin–12g/dl or more
Healthy with a safe lifestyle
Last blood donation > was 4 months ago
On the other hand a person who has undergone a minor surgery within six months, a major surgery within one year, a person with hemalotogical disorders, if you experience excessive bleeding and discomfort during menstruation and if you have a history of recurrent faints following a blood donation or late faints, you should not donate blood. Apart from that those going through depression, symptomatic anxiety disorders, pregnant women, if you are a lactating mother or have delivered a baby within one year or has done an abortion within the last six months, then again you shouldn’t donate blood.
Following individuals are also advised against donating blood :
- HIV, HBV, HCV infected person
- Sex workers
- Homosexual people
- Drug addicts
- People having multiple sexual partners
Those with a history of jaundice without known cause
If the current sexual partner is a known or potential HIV, HBV and HCV positive person.
In order to provide safe and worth blood donation we have to fulfill all prerequisites which are recommended by WHO and the blood donator should be responsible and honest.