Health

World Blood Donor Day

Every year, on 14 June, the world celebrate to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors.

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Transfusion of blood and blood products helps save millions of lives every year. It can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with a higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. It also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during the emergency response to man-made and natural disasters.

A blood service that gives patients access to safe blood and blood products in sufficient quantity is a key component of an effective health system. An adequate supply can only be ensured through regular donations by voluntary, unpaid blood donors. However, in many countries, blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety.

The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2018 events is Greece, through the Hellenic National Blood Centre. The global event will be held in Athens on 14 June 2018.

Most people can give blood if they are in good health. There are some basic requirements one  need to fulfill in order to become a blood donor.  Below are some basic eligibility guidelines:

 You are aged between 18 and 65 (In some countries national legislation permits 16–17 year-olds  and regular donors over the age of 65 may be accepted at the discretion of the responsible physician. The upper age limit in some countries are 60).

 You weigh at least 50 kg.

You must be in good health at the time you donate.

You cannot donate if you have a cold, flu, sore throat, cold sore, stomach bug or any other infection.

If you have recently had a tattoo or body piercing you cannot donate for 6 months from the date of the procedure.  If the body piercing was performed by a registered health professional and any inflammation has settled completely, you can donate blood after 12 hours.

If you have visited the dentist for a minor procedure you must wait 24 hours before donating; for major work wait a month.

You must not donate blood If you do not meet the minimum haemoglobin level for blood donation (A test will be administered at the donation site. In many countries, a haemoglobin level of not less than 12.0 g/dl for females and not less than 13.0 g/dl for males as the threshold).

 Behaviours. You must not give blood:

If you engaged in “at risk” sexual activity in the past 12 months

Individuals with behaviours below will be deferred permanently:

Have ever had a positive test for HIV (AIDS virus)

Have ever injected recreational drugs (In the national blood donor selection guidelines, there are more behavior eligibility criteria. Criteria could be different in different countries).

Pregnancy and breastfeeding:

Following pregnancy, the deferral period should last as many months as the duration of the pregnancy.

It is not advisable to donate blood while breast-feeding. Following childbirth, the deferral period is at least 9 months (as for pregnancy) and until 3 months after your baby is significantly weaned (i.e. getting most of his/her nutrition from solids or bottle feeding).

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