(If you're looking for the perfect way to give back to your community, consider giving the gift of life by donating blood. GIVE BLOOD .. SAVE A LIFE.. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE).. I LOVED the experience:), even though I felt a little bit tired afterward. And I encourage you ALL to do it, not just because it is good for your health, but also to express your good intention to help people and rescue their lives… you have to feel it, when you donate blood … really you do. Make sure when you donate blood… you give it from the bottom of heart…We all expect blood to be there for us, but barely a fraction of those who can give do. Yet sooner or later, virtually all of us will face a time of great vulnerability in which we will need blood. And that time is all too often unexpectedBloodBlood is precious. And unfortunately there is not enough of it. As opportunities for successful treatment of cancers, injuries, surgical problems and blood disorders increase, the demand for blood rises.In Blood Bank, we have always tried to be self-sufficient for our needs. For many years, the Blood Service has maintained a list of over a hundred voluntary blood donors, many of whom have been regularly giving blood. This has worked well, but is no longer sufficient. The sharp increase in services now provided in the new hospital means that demand for blood has grown – last year the hospital used around 800 units of blood, an increase of 33% in three years!You have always depended upon Blood Banks. We now seek your generosity. The precious gift of blood.WHY DONATE BLOOD?A blood donation truly is a "gift of life" that a healthy individual can give to others who are sick or injured in the community.WHO CAN GIVE BLOOD?If you are fit and healthy and aged 18-60 and weigh more than 50 kilos you are eligible to donate. Regular donors can keep giving blood, right until the age of 70. People aged 17 may donate if considered to have sufficient knowledge and understanding of what is involved to give their informed consent.WILL I BE ASKED LOTS OF QUESTIONS?Yes, we will be asking you a number of questions. Our primary concern is that giving blood won't affect your health in any way. We also make sure that your blood is safe for other people. Current illnesses, even colds could affect your suitability, although usually this is just temporary. Unless there are good reasons, we will not turn people down. And of course all your details will be treated in the strictest confidence.WILL DONATING BLOOD HURT?Not more than having a blood test. You may feel a slight sting in the beginning lasting only a couple of seconds, but there should be no discomfort during the donation.IS GIVING BLOOD SAFE?Yes. Remember we will only accept you if you are fit and well. All the materials used, the needle, the blood bag used to collect blood, etc come in a sealed pack, are designed for single use and cannot be reused. We only take donations in the clean environment of the hospital, so the process is made as safe as possible.HOW MUCH BLOOD WILL BE TAKEN?The volume taken is approximately 450 ml. To give you an idea, this is less than 10 % of your total blood and your body replaces the lost fluid within 36 hours.HOW OFTEN CAN I DONATE?Up to Three times a year, which means a minimum of 16 weeks between donations.CAN I BRING A FRIEND?Please do. The more the merrier!WHAT IF I TAKE MEDICATION?You must tell us if you take any kind of medication – medicines, pills, injections, anything. Some of these may affect your blood and mean we may have to postpone the donation for now.WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE AND AFTER GIVING BLOOD?Drinks plenty of liquids before and after you donate- but not the alcoholic variety please! Eat your regular meals too.CAN I GO BACK TO WORK ON THE SAME DAY?Regrettably the answer is yes! However it would be unwise to give blood before undertaking physically demanding or hazardous activity either in a job or a hobby.ARE BLOOD DONORS PAID?No. We will not buy blood, as a matter of strict policy. Research shows that blood given voluntarily and freely tends to be least likely to have transfusion transmissible infections. Voluntary donors are also more likely to be honest in supplying information that could lead to the donation not being accepted.Become aBlood donorMost people over the age of 17 can give blood as long as they are fit and well. You can make a difference. Please don't leave it to someone else.Blood is:is a way of transport of substances and gases (for example oxygen) from one part of the body to is a defense mechanism against foreign bacteria and substances, example, to fight against infections.and it regulates body temperature.Blood is composed of the liquid part and the solid part. The liquid is called plasma, a yellowish slightly viscous liquid, made up of dissolved proteins and salts. The solid part of blood is made up of cells (small round discs which can be seen only by microscope). There is approximately 55 % plasma and 45 % solid part (cells floating in this plasma).There are three main types of cells in the solid part of blood. These are:Red blood cells (erythrocytes),White blood cells (leucocytes) andPlatelets (called also thrombocyte).The red cells are the cells responsible for the red colour of blood and constitute 75% of the solid part of the blood. They contain a complex protein called haemoglobin, which is necessary to carry oxygen from the lungs to the cells of the whole body. This haemoglobin needs iron to be formed. One takes iron tablets when "blood level" is low (anaemic), to help the formation of haemoglobin in the red blood cell. Vitamin B12 is needed to help in the formation and development of this red cell in the bone marrow. The life span of the red cell is approximately 120 days when it is replaced by new ones.The white blood cells (leucocytes) constitute 25% of the solid part of the blood and are divided into 2 main types, the granular leukocyte (granulocyte) and the non-granular leukocyte. Further more there are 3 types of granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils) and three types of non-granular leucocytes (monocytes, small lymphocytes and large lymphocytes). These white blood cells (especially the neutrophils) are involved in the fight against foreign bacteria (infections) and foreign elements. Additionally (especially the lymphocytes) white blood cells build up a defense mechanism to combat similar future infections, and next time one would not be affected by the infection. This process is called immunity.White Blood Cell (Leukocytes)Granular cell (granulocytes, 75%) Non-granular cells (25%)neutrophils small lymphocytesbasophils large lymphocyteseosinophils monocytesThe platelets are minute cells and they play a very important part in the clotting of blood. The liquid part of blood (plasma) contains many-dissolved substances among which are the clotting factors. The main clotting factors are: prothrombin, calcium, and fibrinogen. When there is a cut, thromboplastin is released from body tissues into the blood. When thromboplastin meets with the above-mentioned clotting factors and platelets, a series of chemical reactions starts. Ultimately in healthy persons a blood clot is formed to stop bleeding. That is why patients with bleeding disorders are transfused plasma or its products because only clotting factors are needed to correct the disorder. Here is a brief summary of what happens in a bleed.prothrombin calcium thromboplastin (from damaged tissues) = thrombinthrombin fibrinogen = fibrin (fine threads)fibrin platelets = blood clot (mesh or net)Blood GroupsWhat makes a person's blood group A or blood group B? What is the meaning of positive and negative? What makes two different bloods from two different persons compatible (match) or incompatible (do not match)?The system of A's and B's is called the ABO or the Landsteiner blood grouping system.The body, which is continuously being bombarded by bacteria, viruses and foreign substances, has a complicated defense mechanism. One way of protecting itself is through internal substances formed in the blood, to destroy any foreign substances that enter the blood stream. The substances formed by the body in the blood are called antibodies (agglutinins) and the foreign substances are called antigens. For example, pollen from flowers, micro-organisms such as bacteria and viruses, proteins molecules from animals, foreign tissues like transplanted organs and blood transfusions, and penicillin are examples of foreign antigens. However antigens can be also internal (intrinsic). These internal antigens are the personal characteristics of a person or a group of persons, and we are born with these internal antigens.On the surface of a red blood cell (the erythrocyte) there are many layers of substances among which are the (internal) antigens. There are two important antigens, which are called the A antigen, and B antigen. If on the surface of the red blood cells there is the A antigen, the blood group is A; if there is the B antigen, the blood group is B; if there are both A and B antigens, the blood group is AB. If there is neither the A nor the B antigen on the red blood cell, the blood group is O. It is these antigens that are responsible whether a blood is A, B, AB or O.Blood with the A antigen on the red cells has B antibodies in the plasma. Blood with the B antigen on the red blood cell has A antibodies in the plasma. Blood with A and B antigen on the red cell has no A or B antibodies in the plasma. Blood with no A and B antigens on the red blood cell has A and B antibodies in the plasma. This means that a blood type has the opposite antibody in the plasma.This concept is not very easy to understand and quite difficult to explain. Keep the following in mind, if A antigens meets A antibodies, A antibodies destroy A antigens. On the same principle, if B antigens meet B antibodies , B antibodies destroy B antigens . This would cause the red blood cells that are being attacked to clog together and of course block the veins and arteries of the patient.Follow carefully these examples:Legend: Patient or recipient is red and donor is blue.Rule of thumb: When there is a reaction (i.e. bloods that do not match) the patient plasma antibodies attack the antigen on the red blood cell of the donor. The antigen on the donor's red blood cells are foreign antigens to the patient (recipient).If a patient of blood group A (A antigen, antibody B) receives blood group B (B antigen, antibody A) what happens? The antibody B of the patient would attack the B antigen of the donor causing them to stick together. This would block the veins of the patient causing a very serious condition to the patient which might result in death. The same would happen if patient blood B receives blood A. Try to work it out. Therefore blood group A can be given only to persons whose blood is either A and AB only. On the same lines, blood group B can be given to persons whose blood group is B and AB.If a patient of blood group O (no antigens, A & B antibodies) receives blood group B (B antigen, antibody A), B antibodies of the patient would attack the B antigen of the donor causing the red blood cells to stick or clog together. On the same principles, if blood group A were transfused to a blood group O patient, the A antibodies of the patient would attack A antigens of the donor. Therefore blood group O patient can receive blood from blood group O donor only.If a patient of blood AB (A and B antigen, no antibodies) receives any group of blood nothing happens because there are no A or B antibodies in the plasma of the patient (recipient) to attack the A or/and B antigen of the foreign blood.The following figure summaries the above:O universal donor, AB universal recipient.DonorO OK OK OK OKA NO OK NO OKB NO NO OK OKAB NO NO NO OKO A B AB RecipientFor those who find the above table confusing, keep this in mind:O can give to allA can give to A and ABB can give to B and ABAB can give to AB onlyO can receive from O onlyB can receive from B and OA can receive for A and OAB can receive from allThe Rhesus FactorThere is another group of factors that effects compatibility, the Rhesus (Rh) factors where the Rh D antigen is the most significant. This is another antigen on the surface of the red blood cell. The name Rhesus is derived from the type monkey that was involved in the experiments to study these factors. When this Rhesus antigen is present the blood group is described as positive. When the Rhesus factor is absent the blood group is described as negative. Therefore there is blood group O Rh Positive and O Rh Negative, A Rh Positive and A Rh Negative, B Rh Positive and B Rh Negative, and AB Rh Positive and AB Rh Negative. As a general rule the Rh negative group can give safely the correspondent Rh positive group. However the Rh positive group is not recommended as a donor to the Rh negative group patient (recipient). This is not always the case because Rhesus positive blood may be given to Rhesus negative blood together with special drugs and closer medical supervision only in emergencies. However transfusing Rhesus positive blood into a Rhesus negative patient is avoided, especially in young females who are potential mothers. Transfusing Rhesus positive blood to Rhesus negative females will instigate the formation of antibodies against the Rh D antigen in the mother's blood. This would cause problems during pregnancy and to the newborn baby causing heamolytic disease of the newbornVolunteering to give blood is giving the gift of life.10 REASONS TO DONATE BLOODBlood transfusions save lives.There's no substitute for human blood.Every three seconds, someone needs a blood transfusion.About 60 percent of the population are eligible to donate blood, yet less than five percent do.A pint of blood, separated in to components, can help up to three people.You'll make your community a safer place.Fulfills your desire to “give back” to the community.You'll receive a mini physical (blood pressure, temperature, iron level).You'll learn your blood type.It's safe, simple and it saves lives.On average, the donation takes only about 10 minutes while the entire procedure lasts less than 60 minutes, from registration to resting time. The time you spend may mean life or death to those in need, so it is time well spent!You can help save lives tooHow come on hearing the word “Blood” people make funny faces and think you are weird to talk about something so gross…I mean isn't like it's something taboo. Because we have litres of the stuff in our body's. Then why do people shirk to donate or willingly give it??? Is it fear or just apathy as to why should one donate?There is never an equal supply to meet the growing demand for blood that our society needs. So what are these barriers?? Is it just public perception or the scare of seeing the needle & one's own blood? These are all major factors no doubt…but don't tell me that all of us suffer from this dilemma. Ironically, not half..Not quarter..But much less than that are the number of people who donate to replenish this shortage. There are loads of misconceptions etc. which need to be cleared up for people to be more susceptible to blood donation.Every two seconds, someone needs blood, and just one pint can save up to three lives. You can donate blood every 56 days.

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