Udayavni Special

Guide to how often one can donate blood


Team Udayavani, Apr 4, 2021, 12:15 PM IST

Source: Unsplash

Contrary to common misconceptions, blood donations are not associated with premature death or cancer. Donating blood will save multiple lives.

It is safe to donate blood several times a year and institutions use sterile equipment for each donor to eliminate the risk of contracting infections.

It is also important to know that not everyone can donate blood as there are certain health conditions that may affect your eligibility to donate blood, such as dementia or HIV infection.

There are several different ways to go about donating blood, one can donate whole blood or one can donate blood components like plasma, red blood cells, and platelets where the machine separates the blood into the various components and then returns the leftovers to the body.

Factors that temporarily prohibit you from donating blood are as follows,

  1. Pregnancy: Pregnant individuals cannot donate blood because they need additional iron during their pregnancy and because pregnant women tend to develop mild anemia during pregnancy.
  2. Tattoos: If you recently had a tattoo, then you will have to wait three months before donating blood to minimize the risk of spreading transfusion-transmissible infections such as STIs.
  3. Medications: Taking certain medications may make you temporarily ineligible to be a blood donor.

Conditions that permanently rule out from becoming a blood donor:

  1. Anemia
  2. Dementia
  3. HVI
  4. Hepatitis B or C
  5. Hemophilia
  6. Leukemia
  7. Stroke
  8. Syphilis

Individuals can donate one pint of blood every eight weeks and it will take the body four to eight weeks to replace the number of red blood cells that they lose.

Avoid drinking alcohol and eating fatty foods before your blood donation. Get adequate sleep, drink plenty of water and eat foods rich in iron and vitamin C to stay healthy and help your body create more blood cells.

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