Blood donation occurs when a person voluntarily has blood drawn and used for transfusions or made into medications by a process called fractionation. In the developed world, most blood donors are unpaid volunteers who give blood for a community supply. In poorer countries, established supplies are limited and donors usually give blood when family or friends need a transfusion. Many donors donate as an act of charity, but some are paid and in some cases there are incentives other than money such as paid time off from work. A donor can also have blood drawn for their own future use. Donating is relatively safe, but some donors have bruising where the needle is inserted or may feel faint.
Donating Blood and Help People
Potential donors are evaluated for anything that might make their blood unsafe to use. The screening includes testing for diseases that can be transmitted by a blood transfusion, including HIV and viral hepatitis. The donor is also asked about medical history and given a short physical examination to make sure that the donation is not hazardous to his or her health. How often a donor can give varies from days to months based on what he or she donates and the laws of the country where the donation takes place. For example, in the United States donors must wait 8 weeks (56 days) between whole blood donations but only three days between plateletpheresis donations. The amount of blood drawn and the methods vary. The collection can be done manually or with automated equipment that only takes specific portions of the blood. Most of the components of blood used for transfusions have a short shelf life, and maintaining a constant supply is a persistent problem.
There are particular types of people who should not donate blood, temporarily or permanently. Screening is critical to avoid compromising the health of the donor or the recipient. Let's take a closer look at each of them. Those who contracted malaria in the past or have traveled to malaria endemic places during the last three years are not allowed to donate. The same applies for people who have spent at least three months in Western Europe and United Kingdom from 1980 to 1996 because of the prevalence of mad cow disease.
For the safety of both the mother and child, pregnant and breastfeeding women are temporarily deferred from donating blood. Women who had an ...