Source: www.africanakua.com | Dr. Olasemo Ayodeji MaOzi, Nigeria
This article will try to help us understand what blood donation is all about and its benefits.
WHAT IS BLOOD?
Blood is simply a body fluid in humans that help transport nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transport waste products away from the cells.
CONSTITUENTS OF BLOOD?
-Plasma (major component, contains water, proteins and clotting factors).
-Red blood Cells (main transport mechanism).
-White Blood cells (Fights infections).
An average adult has about 5 – 5.5 litres of blood in the body and is continually produced in the bone marrow through a process called HEMATOPOIESIS and transported via blood vessels (arteries and veins).
Blood is very important to life as we all know of the popular saying “blood is life”
(Leviticus 17:11) ” thus it is safe to say blood donation is almost equal to giving life. On a lighter note, even Vampires attain immortality from drinking blood.
STATISTICS ON BLOOD DONATION
WHO statistics on blood donation shows; about 112.5 million blood donations are collected worldwide and more than half of these are collected in high income countries which is home to 19% of world population.
Fact is a poor blood donation practice exists in Sub-Sahara Africa and this is due to religious, spiritual and superstitious belief.
Nigeria estimates blood need stands at about 2million units per annum and we are barely making 30% of these. Less than 1% of Nigerians donates blood and a very low percentage of free blood donors (meaning most donors want some form of compensation).
Prof Isaac Adewole stated that ” only 40% of Nigerians donate blood for free (75% of which donate to relatives alone) while the remaining percentage do it for money. The statistics will probably be the same in other African countries.
This refers to a process whereby an individual voluntarily has blood taken from him/her to be used for transfusion or it could be separated into various blood components treatment of various conditions.
AUTOLOGOUS BLOOD DONATION
A donor gives blood which would be transfused back into the individual usually prior to a surgery
HOMOLOGOUS BLOOD DONATION
A donor gives blood for transfusion to an different recipient.
CRITERIA FOR BLOOD DONATION
– Weight (greater than 51kg),
-Haemoglobin level (greater than 12g/dl),
-No blood donation in the past 3 months,
-Free from physiologic states such as menstruation,
-No blood transfusion,tissue or organ transplant within 12 months,
-No recent unexplained weight loss of 5Kg or more,
– Successfully passed a donor fitness test as well as free from diseases and infections.
After donor is certified fit, blood is drawn from a large arm vein following appropriate preparation via a canular, donor might be asked to squeeze an object intermittently to increase blood flow through the vein.
The volume of blood collected is usually about 450mls( varies from 200-500mls) which is less than 10% of total blood.
After donation, you are advised to rest for a while about 15-20 minutes and to avoid dehydration after donation.
You can donate every 3 months because it is expected that all blood cells would have been optimally replaced at this time.
DONOR HEALTH BENEFITS
It would interest you to know that blood donation could be therapeutic especially for individuals with conditions such as Polycythaemia Vera (excessive blood cells).
New blood cells in circulation also means fresher appearance.
Some studies have shown blood donation helps improve quality of life by improving mood ( makes sense, you just saved a life) as well as reduce blood pressure and blood glucose level.
In conclusion, Most women die at childbirth and alot of lives are lost due to lack of blood. We have a short supply of blood in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
A blood donor is a hero;
Give blood, Share Life.
-WHO blood safety and donation,
-Blood safety and availability (WHO),