Blood Donation Facts

Why is it necessary to know your own Blood Group?

We come across different news on accidents in our day to day life. At certain places, we hear of emerging riots, bomb blasts, Earthquakes, Floods or people suffering from hemophilia all gives rise to requirements of blood for their treatment of patients. Out of which few require blood in an emergency and during such times, if the blood group of the patient is unknown then it may lead to fatal delays. Thus it makes it very important to know one’s own blood group.

What is meant by Blood group?

If the colour of everyone’s blood is red, then what is the difference in their blood? This difference is due to differences in the blood properties. Human Blood has been differentiated into 4 parts. Our blood majorly consists of components like plasma, platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells. Similarly blood also consists of a protein known as antigen. It is due to the differences in this antigen that differentiates human blood from each other. This differentiated form of blood is known as blood groups. A, AB, B & O are the four major blood groups, which again gets differentiated into two categories each based on RH+ & RH- factor, thus making the number of blood groups as 8. The blood group A has proteins A, Blood group B has proteins B, AB has both proteins A & B, whereas Blood group O has neither A nor B. The RH in the blood is again pure protein, its presence in the blood is termed as RH positive and its absence in the blood is called RH negative. Blood group transfer is not hereditary and so the blood groups of brothers and sisters need not be same.

People with the blood group O can donate their blood to anyone and so they are called “universal donor”. The number of people with O Blood group is the highest and this constitutes nearly 46%. The availability of a negative blood group is very less, out of which the availability of AB negative blood group is 1 out of 5000.
Before carrying out blood transfusion it’s very important to cross match the blood groups of the donor and the acceptor.

Who can Donate Blood and how?

The selection process of the blood donor is done following a few guidelines. The donor should be of the age group ranging from 18 to 60 years, Body weight should exceed 45 kg. The quantity of hemoglobin should exceed 12.5 gm %. The quantity of hemoglobin is determined by using blue coloured copper sulphate solution.
The blood from the donor’s finger is dissolved in the solution and through this it is determined whether the donor’s hemoglobin quantity is above 12.5. The donor should not have donated blood for minimum of 3 months. The patients suffering from Heart disease, Diabetes, Blood pressure or any other disease should consult before donating blood. A donor shouldn’t donate blood on empty stomach or before half an hour of eating something.
After selecting the appropriate donor, blood should be collected in an anti germic bag in 350ml. In order that blood shouldn’t coagulate, a certain solution is also mixed in the blood storing bags. The process blood collection requires only 10 – 15 minutes. Every time a donor donates blood, disposable needles and bags are used, which discards the fear of contracting diseases. All such blood collection bags are stored in special fridges with temperature maintained at 2-3˚ C, where blood can be stored for 35 days without causing any kind of blood spoilage.
Donors blood is tested for V.D.R.L., H.I.V., Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Malaria, etc. After all the tests conducted, the most appropriate blood is selected to be transfused to the ill person.
Various tests are performed in order to cross match the blood groups of the healthy donor and the ill person. Major cross matching includes cross matching of donor’s RBC and receiver’s plasma, while minor cross matching includes cross matching of donor’s plasma with receiver’s RBC. During the cross matching, the testing are carefully done through microscope.
A healthy person has 5-6 liters of blood flowing through his body and during blood donation only 350 ml of blood is taken. This blood is then restored in the body within 48 hrs of blood donation. A person can resume his daily activities immediately after donating blood. Thus there are no fears or restrictions as far as blood donation by a healthy donor is concerned.
A healthy donor can donate his blood again after 3 months of making a donation. Rather than one person donating 100 times, it would be more useful if 100 people donate once every year and these 100 donors can donate 2500 to 4000 bottles of blood in their entire lifetime. “Donate Blood on your Birthday”, if this message is spread all over India, then all the shortages related to blood will be met very easily.

The benefits of Blood donation:

  • Blood Donation is the best possible kind of donation. Not only the receiver but also the donor benefit out of blood donation as your blood is frequently tested every time you donate blood.
  • You can get to know your blood group during blood donation as it is always mentioned in the donor’s card.
  • Blood donation makes your heart healthy as all the additional unwanted body salts are removed during the process.
  • During Blood Donation, you receive a Donor’s card which can be utilized to obtain blood during emergency situations.


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