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Who is eligible to give blood?

You can give blood only if you are healthy, at least 17 years old, and weigh at least 50 kgs. and have not donated in the past 8 weeks, are not currently taking antibiotics or insulin and your Hemoglobin is 100% (Male – 14.5gm%, Female – 13.5gm%). You can donate blood if you do not have AIDS.

Is it safe to give blood?

Each time you donate blood the needle used in the procedure should be sterile and should be disposed off after single use. Thus the possibility of contracting AIDS is decreased while donating Blood.

How often can I donate blood?

People in good health who weigh at least 50 kgs can donate a unit of blood as often as every eight weeks.

What happens when I donate?

A brief interview is taken of the donor. You’ll be asked about your medical history and current health. Temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin level are checked.

Does it hurt?

No more than a slight pinch . You should feel fine after you donate but, some people get a little dizzy so be careful. After donating, you may resume your usual routine.

How long will it take to donate?

The entire process takes less than an hour and the actual blood donation usually takes about 15 minutes.

Can I donate blood for myself, or ask others to donate for me?

Yes, if you are planning elective surgery and are healthy enough to donate blood, you may be able to donate blood for your own use. This is called an autologous donation. Some people planning elective, non–emergency surgery prefer to receive blood donated by relatives, friends or co–workers (directed donations), although there is no evidence these donations are safer than the community blood supply.

Where can I go to donate blood?

There are many places where donations can be made. People can also donate at community blood centers and hospital–based donor centers. Many people donate blood at “Blood donation camps”, held in their vicinity.

What is plateletpheresis?

Although most blood is donated as whole blood, it is also possible to donate only a portion of blood using a technique called apheresis. Blood is drawn from the vein of a donor into an apheresis instrument, which separates the blood into different portions by centrifugation. By appropriately adjusting the instrument, a selected portion of the blood, such as the platelets, can be recovered, while the rest of the blood is returned to the donor either into the same vein or into a vein in the other arm. This process takes more time than whole blood donation, but the yield of platelets is much greater. Platelets collected by apheresis are particularly useful for patients who require numerous platelet transfusions, for example cancer patients who have received chemotherapy.

What is the Difference Between the Collection of Whole Blood and the Collection of Plasma?

Most of the whole blood collected is separated into components, red blood cells, platelets, plasma and other clotting factors.

Plasma, the fluid in which red blood cells, platelets and other clotting factors are suspended, is collected by apheresis. For this process, whole blood is drawn, plasma is removed and the red blood cells are transfused back into the donor. This plasma collection process takes one to two hours to complete.