Blood is an essential element to live. In some cases, such as surgeries, accidents and some treatments, blood transfusions are performed. Since blood cannot be manufactured or replaced by any other artificial substance, the only way to obtain it is through donation. Each of us is born with a blood type that belongs to a Group (A, B, AB, 0) and to an Rh factor (Positive or Negative). Due to this genetic condition, our body must receive compatible blood. Every day someone, somewhere, needs blood to restore their health. Donating blood is solidarity and commitment. Also, it is an easy, safe and indispensable practice.
Who can give blood?
People who want to donate blood must:
- Be between 16 and 65 years old.
- Weigh more than 50 kg.
- Not having had unprotected sexual relations with casual partners or with people at risk for HIV/AIDS.
- Do not use drugs.
They could not be donors:
- Those who have had a tattoo or piercing in the last year.
- Over 65 years without a medical certificate. People who are taking antibiotics, blood thinners, cancer drugs, or insulin cannot donate. The rest of the medications will be evaluated in the pre-donation consultation based on the disease for which they were prescribed and not by the medication itself.
Why do you have to donate blood?
The most advanced technology has not been able to manufacture this essential element for life and it can only be obtained from people willing to help. Donating blood saves lives, it’s easy and safe.
How is blood used?
The blood obtained in the donation is separated into its different components so that each patient receives what they need. Its most frequent uses are:
- Plasma: Plasmapheresis – deficiency of coagulation factors.
- Platelets: Leukemias, Chemotherapy, large hemorrhages.
- Red blood cells: Surgery, Accidents, Hemorrhages, Transplants, Anemias.
- Cryoprecipitate: Hemophilia, Coagulopathy.
The entire process is carried out under the supervision of professionals. After each donation, systematic laboratory studies are carried out for:
- Determination of blood group and Rh factor.
- Detection of transfusion-transmissible infections: syphilis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, brucellosis, HIV/AIDS, chagas disease and HTLV I and II.
In the event of reaching any result that makes it impossible to use the blood studied, the unit is discarded and the donor is summoned for information, guidance and adequate treatment.
What should be known about the donation?
By donating blood there is no risk of contracting diseases. The material used is sterile and disposable. Donating blood does not weaken, does not make you fat, does not lose weight, nor does it bring any harm to the donor. Immediately after the donation, the organism begins to compensate the volume extracted (450 ml). The donor will not notice any difference.
Prior to the donation, the health personnel will interview the voluntary donor to see if they are able to donate. All information is confidential. Your weight, temperature, pulse, and blood pressure are checked, and blood samples are taken to check that your red blood cells are OK. This prior interview is intended to assess your aptitude and determine possible contradictions, to care for the donor and the recipient. The information is protected by medical confidentiality.
- The extraction takes between 7 and 10 minutes.
- It is done in a safe environment and with disposable material.
- Only one unit of blood (about 450 ml) and small samples are drawn for further analysis.
Steps to follow to be a blood donor
If you are determined to donate blood, keep in mind some considerations and requirements to do so.
- Be rested and have slept for at least 6 hours.
- Feeling in good condition (not having symptoms of malaise, fever, cold or cough).
- You should have breakfast or lunch regularly and drink plenty of fluids (non-alcoholic). Never go fasting.
- Look for the Donation Center closest and check the schedule. I went to the Donation Center with your ID because you must present it.
- You can donate blood with a minimum interval of 2 months. Men can donate up to 4 times in a year and women 3.
Keep in mind that even if you cannot donate blood, you can always collaborate by spreading the importance of being voluntary and regular blood donors among your friends and family.
See more information at https://www.argentina.gob.ar/salud/donarsangre/
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