Blood Donation: Frequently Asked Questions
BBMS, HP Q: What is blood? How much blood does a person have?

A: Blood is the red coloured fluid flowing continuously in our body's circulatory system. About 1/12th of the body weight of a healthy individual is blood. On an average there are about 5 - 6 litres of blood present.

BBMS, HP Q: How much blood do you take?

A: In India 350 ml blood is collected from a blood donor weighing not less than 45 kilograms. Donors weighing more than 55 kilogramsmay donate upto 450 ml of blood.

BBMS, HP Q: How can one blood donation save four lives ?

A:The blood you donate is split into four components Red Blood Cells, Platelets, Plasma and Cryoprecipitate

BBMS, HP Q: Why is my finger pricked before donation?

A: To estimate “haemoglobin” content in blood. This is the component of the red cells which transport oxygen in the human body to all the organs and tissues. If the level is low, it is not wise to give blood.

BBMS, HP Q: What physical tests are performed before blood donation?

A: 1. Weighing (not less than 45 kg)
2. Hb estimation (12.5gm/100ml by copper sulphate method)
3. Measurement of blood pressure (systolic 160/100 mmHg; diastolic 90/60 mmHg)
4. Checking heart beats (60 - 100 times per minute), condition of liver, lung and spleen
5. Body temperature (37oC)

BBMS, HP Q: Why blood is not collected from a person having a haemoglobin content of less than 12.5 gm/l00ml?

A: Hemoglobin in the blood carries oxygen from the respiratory organs (lungs ) to the rest of the body (i.e. the tissues) where it releases the oxygen to burn nutrients to provide energy to the organism, and collects the resultant carbon dioxide to bring it back to the respiratory organs to be dispensed from the organism. Hence blood with less Hb content than the prescribed (12.5gm/100ml) does not help the patient much in carrying oxygen to cells.

BBMS, HP Q: Is blood donation very painful?

A: No. Not more than a prick of an injection needle.

BBMS, HP Q: Does it take long time to donate blood?

A: It should take up not more than 20 minutes of time including time for rest and taking refreshment.

BBMS, HP Q: Will I feel all right after donation?

A: Yes, you can go back to your normal work after 30 minutes.

BBMS, HP Q: How often may I donate blood?

A: You may donate once in 90 days (upto 4 times per year).

BBMS, HP Q: Why to use different types of bags for blood collection ?

A: This depends upon what components we are going to prepare out of your donated blood. This in turn, depends upon our stock position of various components and also on requirements by patients. A "single bag" is used when the donated blood is going to be used as "whole blood". We use a "double bag" to prepare one unit of "Packed Cells" and one unit of "Fresh-Frozen Plasma" from a single donation. "Triple bags" are used to make an additional unit of "Platelet Concentrate from the same donation. "Penta bags" are used to make small aliquots for use in babies.

BBMS, HP Q: Why is only a component of the blood used and not the whole blood ?

A: Over the last decade, blood transfusion has been made safer by transfusing only the needed component of the blood to the patients. For example, RBCs for those who are anaemic and those undergoing surgery, Platelets for children and adults whose platelet count is low due to disease or medication they received and Plasma for those with burn injuries or bleeding problems. Apart from providing the right component, this approach helps in optimal use of available blood.

BBMS, HP Q: How long can blood be preserved in a blood bank?

A: Blood is normally preserved in blood bank for 35 days using CPDA or CPDA1 solution as anticoagulant and shelf life 42 days in Sagam solution at 4oC.

So this year Dear friends ' Donate Blood ' and give somebody a GIFT OF LIFE .