Blood donations play a vital role in saving human life. Because scientists have yet to succeed in discovering a suitable artificial replacement for blood, blood donation remains the most important means for transferring blood from one human to another. Donating blood may be your way of giving something to the community and also feeling good about yourself.
Blood donations refer to giving extra blood that is unnecessary for the body to someone in need. Giving blood is by no means dangerous because the human body normally contains 17-18 glasses of blood, of which only 15-16 is actually used. The extra portion can be donated to others.
Blood donation can be made as often as every 3 months. This is because when some blood has been donated, the bone marrow produces new blood cells to replace the blood loss to maintain the same blood volume. The donation process usually takes about 15 minutes. About 350-450 c.c. of blood is taken, depending on the donor’s weight.
Maintaining a ‘Blood Bank’ of the various blood types to be ready for any emergency is a worldwide necessity, including in Thailand. There are also differences in the frequencies of blood types between different countries, for example blood group A is associated with high frequencies in Europe, especially in Scandinavia and Central Europe. For this reason donations by foreigners can be important in Thailand.
What’s In It For You?
- Blood donors can take a personal pride in knowing that they have made a difference by giving.
- Blood donors can receive a free physical check-up every 3 months. Because every unit of donated blood is examined through laboratory processes, the donor is screened for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, AIDS as well as other health factors including blood pressure levels.
- Blood donors receive information about their blood type-both ABO and RH.
What Is Required To Become A Blood Donor?
When you attend a blood donation facility you will be asked to complete a comprehensive questionnaire to ensure your suitability. These are the basic requirements covered in that questionnaire.
- 17-70 years of age.
- Good general health, with a weight of over 45 kg.
- No history of significant illnesses including: hepatitis, jaundice, malarial fever for the past 3 years, sexually transmitted diseases, infectious diseases, haemophilia or other blood-related diseases, asthma, epilepsy, long-term skin diseases, kidney diseases, heart problems, diabetes, thyroid problems.
- No unprotected sexual activity by you or your partner outside of your primary relationship.
- No history of intravenous drug use.
- Not diagnosed as HIV positive or participating in high risk activities.
- Blood donation is not recommended for 6 months after a medical operation, child delivery or abortion.
- Allow 1 year before giving blood after receiving a blood transfusion.
- Female donors should not be menstruating or pregnant.
Before Blood Donation
- Have a good night’s sleep; at least 6 hours.
- Stay healthy; free from colds and medications.
- Prior to the donation, eat non-fat digestible food.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages for 24 hours before the donation.
- To enhance the blood-purifying capacity of the lungs, quit smoking 1 hour before and after the donation
After The Blood Donation
- Rest for a while. Getting up abruptly may lead to nausea.
- Drink fluids provided and a lot of water for the following 24 hours.
- Make sure you feel OK before leaving the facility; tell the staff if you feel dizzy or nauseous.
- Take any prescribed iron tablets.
- Prevent bruises and swelling by avoiding too much use of your arm (the site of the blood withdrawal) for 12 hours.
- Avoid activities that use too much energy and cause perspiration.
A DONOR’S PERSONAL COMMENT
This is an account by a blood donor who recently attended the Blood Donation Centre in Hua Hin. The donor happened to be a staff Member of Hua Hin and Cha-Am Today who is a regular donor and prompted this article after talking about her experience.
‘I always think that it is not easy for us to find something simple, but very powerful in making a donation to the community. I am a blood donor 4 times a year. It’s easy to become complacent; but when you have a good body you have the opportunity to help others.
I think about people in the world competing for food, water and even air. I can’t do much but giving blood makes me feel proud and I am glad that I can do a little to help others.
I want to invite others to think about this simple way of helping the lives of others. It won’t cost you anything and you will learn more about your own health. You are investing in your health and the overall health of the society. It doesn’t hurt; the nurse was so gentle and kind. Giving blood will make you feel great!
RED CROSS-WHERE AND WHEN?
In Hua Hin go to the Thai Red Cross Society Hua Hin branch next to the Hua Hin Municipality offices. The Cha-Am Hospital also accepts blood donations although this is a newly established facility.
You may have to be persistent in your efforts to be a blood donor and it’s fair to say that neither service is very easy to find or well signed, but that’s only the first time!
Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8.30 am – 7.30 pm.
Tuesday, Thursday 8.30 am. – 4.30 pm.
Saturday 9.00 am – 3.30 pm.
Tel 032 512 2370, http://www.redcross.or.th/., www.facebook.com/RegianhuhinNBC