Blood and Plasma Donation: The how, when and why!

Some of you may have given blood and some wouldn’t have. That being said, you don’t really need a special reason to give blood – some of us give blood because someone we know is in need while the others do because they believe it’s the right thing to do, or it may be for a health check. Yes, there are some health benefits, too.

After donating blood, the body works to replenish the blood loss, which boosts the production of new cells. In addition, blood donation keeps the iron levels of the body in check and the practice at least once a year can reduce the risk of a heart attack by 88 percent, as per a study conducted by the American Journal of Epidemiology. Also, isn’t it a plus to get an idea about your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature and hemoglobin!

Your body needs three months to replenish the blood cells, so donating blood three to four times a year can be a good practice if you meet certain criteria, which is, you need to be 18 or more in age, 110 lbs. or more in weight, have a hemoglobin above 12.5, with no jaundice history in the past three years and no medicine consumption in 48 hours.

Did you know you can donate plasma as well?

You’d have heard how plasma is the fluid aspect of the blood in our bodies. Yes, that true – plasma is a straw-colored liquid component of blood that holds the blood cells in suspension.

You can go for a plasma donation depending on the need of the patient. Plasma can be very useful for trauma, burn and cancer patients. While blood donations involve the donation of all of the whole components of the blood (RBC, WBC, platelets and plasma), plasma donations only involve the donation of plasma. Blood donations can only be done every two months while plasma donations can happen more frequently.

Close to 38,000 blood donations are needed every day and every time you do so, you can save up to 3 lives.

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