What You Need to Know About Blood Donation
Blood donation occurs when a person voluntarily has blood drawn so that the blood can be used for transfusion or medication purposes. In Qatar, like in many developed countries, blood donors areunpaid volunteers who give blood for the community’s supply. Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC)blood bank supplies blood and blood products for all hospitals in the country, including privatehospitals.There is currently a need to increase the blood bank’s supply by at least 20 percent every year. Aminimum of 750 units of all blood groups have to be maintained on a daily basis. With theincreasing population and the opening of new hospitals, HMC’s Blood Donor Center expects afurther increase in patients needing blood and blood products for their treatment. By donating blood,one person can save the lives of as many as three people.
Selecting blood donors
Not everyone is allowed to donate. Potential donors are first evaluated by medical staff to assesstheir general health and suitability for donation. This is part of intensive quality control proceduresintended to ensure that the blood being donated will be safe and beneficial for patients, as well as toensure that the donation is not hazardous to the donor’s health.You can only donate blood if:
You are in good health and feel well on the day of the donation.
You have no chronic diseases of the heart, lungs or circulatory system.
You are at least 18 years old, and you weigh at least 50 kilograms.
You have a hemoglobin level at least 12.5 grams/deciliter.
You have blood pressure systolic between 100 and 160, diastolic 60 to 100 torr.
You have a regular pulse between 60 and 100, and oral temperature less than or equal to37.5C.
You must inform the medical staff if you are taking any medications.
To donate platelets, you should not have taken aspirin or any anti-inflammatory painkillerssuch as Ibuprofen 36 to 72 hours prior to donation. These drugs stop the platelets fromworking properly.Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating are not allowed to donate blood.
Is blood donation safe?
Donating is safe and can even be beneficial for donors, as it stimulates the production of new bloodcells, rejuvenating the donor’s body. Some donors say that they actually feel more energetic after donating.