10 facts you should know about blood donation

World Blood Donor Day is celebrated on June 14 of each year. The date commemorates the birth of Karl Landsteiner, an Austrian pathologist and biologist, who discovered the ABO blood groups and won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, in 1930.

Annually, the date is used to promote universal access to safe blood through voluntary and unpaid donation.

For many, the idea of ​​donating blood can generate doubts or fear. That's why here we share all the information you need on the subject.

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10 facts about blood donation

1. Blood transfusions save lives

Annually, approximately 112.5 million units of blood are compiled in the world. Upon receiving these donations, experts must ensure that they are not contaminated with HIV or other pathogens that may contaminate the recipient.

2. Transfusions are used for different types of treatments

Transfusions are used in cardiovascular operations, transplants, massive trauma or treatment of solid malignancies. They can also be used in complications related to pregnancy, childhood malaria, severe anemia or traumatology.

3. Unpaid periodic donation is the safest way

The purity of the blood can only be guaranteed when it is carried out constantly by unpaid donors. Statistics indicate that it is these that have the lowest prevalence of transmissible infections.

4. In 57 countries, 100% of donors are unpaid

According to 2013 data, 74 countries reported receiving more than 90% of their supply of paid and unpaid donors. Of these, 57 countries collected 100% of their supplies from voluntary and unpaid donors.

5. 112.5 million units of blood are collected each year

Statistics indicate that 50% of these donations come from low and middle income countries, which represent 80% of the planet's population. In countries with high incomes, the donation rate is 9 times higher.

6. Donations depend on the country

Approximately 83 million units of blood are collected in 10,000 centers located in 168 countries.

7. People in high-income countries tend to donate more frequently

The blood donation rate has an approximate value of 32.1 per 1000 per year in high-income countries. On the other hand, in countries with low incomes, the rate is 7.8 per 1000.

8. The blood received should always be analyzed

Before the transfusion, the blood received must undergo different types of tests, such as: HIV, hepatitis B and C and syphilis. Unfortunately, not all countries can perform all the tests, which means that the risk of expansion of these diseases increases.

9. One unitedd of blood can benefit several patients

The separation of the components of a unit of blood allows it to serve different people who need it, which saves more lives.

10. Blood transfusion is not always needed

Performing a blood transfusion without examining other alternatives exposes the recipient to unnecessary risks.

Who can donate blood?

The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that most healthy people are able to donate blood. These are some basic requirements that may vary according to the legislation of each country:

  • Be between 18 and 65 years old
  • Weigh at least 50 kg
  • Be in good health

You can not donate when you have a cold, flu, sore throat, mouth ulcers, gastric infection or any other infection. Neither within 24 hours after performing minor dental procedures. If they are older, they must wait a month.

Another factor that restricts blood donation is having had risky sex in the last 12 months. Caution should also be exercised after pregnancy.

What if I'm a vegetarian?

There is a false belief that vegetarians can not donate blood because they are low on iron. If this were the case, they would not be allowed to do so for their safety. But this not only applies to those who keep meat out of their diet, but to anyone. If you have a balanced diet, you do not have to worry.

What if I have tattoos or piercings?

Well, in this case you have to take some precautions. According to the WHO, after having been tattooed or pierced, you can not donate for six months. If the piercing was performed by a registered health professional and the inflammation has completely disappeared, blood can be donated after 12 hours.

If you have any doubt, it is best to consult your doctor.

Important: dIt should be clarified that Bioguía does not give medical advice or prescribe the use of techniques as a form of treatment for physical or mental problems without the advice of a doctor, either directly or indirectly. In the case of applying for this purpose some information of this site, Bioguía does not assume the responsibility of those acts. The intention of the site is only to offer information of a general nature to help in the search of development and personal growth.