Blood donation happens when a person voluntarily agrees for his or her blood to be extracted and donated to a person in need. It is an altruistic gesture as the donated blood may be used for an emergency transfusion or can be separated into individual components to be used later.
Donating blood is easy and safe for most people, and typically, it is mandatory for potential donors to consent to donate their blood. People who are potential donors are physically examined by a physician. Their blood is screened for diseases such as viral hepatitis and AIDS, that can be easily transmitted through these blood donations.
Facts on Blood Donation
Annually around 112.5 million units of donated blood are collected globally.
Approximately around 13.6 million units of whole blood and red blood cells are collected in the U.S every year, and nearly 21 million units of blood components are transfused each year in the U.S.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India suffers from an annual deficit of two million blood units, as only 1% of Indian population donates blood each year.
Approximately around 36,000, 7,000 and 10,000 units of red blood cells, platelets and plasma are needed daily in the U.S.
The major human blood groups – A, B, AB, and O were first identified and classified by Dr. Karl Landsteiner in 1901. They cannot be artificially manufactured but can be obtained from generous donors.
Red cells, platelets, plasma, and cryoprecipitate are the four types of transfusable products that can be derived from blood.
Separating the whole blood into its various components can allow a single unit of blood to benefit multiple patients, and this process of donating specific components is called Apheresis.
AB+ is the universal recipient of blood, which means ab positive persons can receive blood from any blood group. while O negative is the universal donor, which means o negative persons can donate blood to persons with any other blood group.
Donated platelets must be used within five days and red blood cells must be used within forty two days from the date of collection.
Blood products like plasma and cryoprecipitate are stored in a frozen state and thereby these products can be used for up to one year after collection.
All donated blood products have to be screened for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis c and syphilis before transfusion.
Blood transfusions are often used for supportive care in various surgeries. In lower and middle income countries especially they can also be used in the management of pregnancy-related complications, childhood malaria complicated by severe anemia and trauma-related injuries.
Unnecessary transfusions can expose patients to HIV, hepatitis and adverse transfusion reactions.
In the U.S, an estimated 1,000 babies are born with Sickle cell anemia every year; these patients can require multiple blood transfusions all throughout their lives.
Almost 47% of all blood donations are collected from high-income countries. It is estimated that the average blood donation rate in high-income countries is nine times higher than what is collected in lower income countries.
Blood Donation - (https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/blooddonation.htm)
Blood Facts and Statistics - (https://www.redcrossblood.org/learn-about-blood/blood-facts-and-statistics#blood-needs)
World Blood Donor Day 2017: 6 Myths About Blood Donation - (https://www.medindia.net/news/world-blood-donor-day-2017-6-myths-about-blood-donation-170856-1.htm)