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Blood Donation - Significance, Benefits, and Types of Donation

  • January 02, 2023

Blood donations decreased significantly during the pandemic due to travel restrictions and the fear of contracting the virus by visiting blood banks. Blood transfusions are an essential component of all medical disciplines. With the spread of the COVID-19 virus and its sub-variants, the adequate and safe blood supply to meet patient needs became a major concern. In many parts of the world, there is a widespread shortage of blood supply and demand, which has a considerable impact on blood transfusion services.

However, the shortage of donors will be reduced to a great extent now as blood donation camps are being increased to meet the demand.

Significance of Blood Donation

Blood is the most important component of human life. It is a bodily fluid that transports essential substances such as nutrients and oxygen to cells. You must be in good general health, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be at least 16 years old to donate blood or platelets. 16-year-olds must have parental consent to donate blood; 16-year-olds are NOT eligible to donate platelets. For those over the age of 17, no parental consent is required.

Blood is classified into A, B, O, and AB groups. Karl Landsteiner discovered these blood types in 1900, and his birthday, June 14, is celebrated as blood donation day.

Blood transfusion has been critical in many circumstances. Blood is typically transfused to replace red blood cells that carry oxygen in situations where transfusion is required. bleeding, surgery, or a medical procedure that causes blood loss medical conditions that inhibit the body's ability to produce new blood cells Anaemia, kidney disease, cancer, leukaemia, chemotherapy, and chronic disease can all prevent the production of new blood cells. Transfusions may be required until the body can produce its own blood cells.

Types of Blood Donation

Donation of Whole Blood

The most flexible type of donation is whole blood. It can be transfused in its entirety or separated into its specific components of red cells, plasma, and platelets to help multiple people. Trauma patients and people undergoing surgery are frequently given whole blood.

Power Red Donation

During a Power Red donation, you give a concentrated dose of red cells, the portion of your blood that is used every day for those who require transfusions as part of their treatment. This type of donation employs an automated process that separates your red blood cells from the other blood components before returning your plasma and platelets to you in a safe and comfortable manner. Power Red donations of red cells are typically given to trauma patients, newborns and emergency transfusions during birth, people with sickle cell anemia, and anyone suffering from blood loss.

Donation of Platelets

Platelets are blood cells that form clots and stop bleeding. They are an essential component of cancer treatments, organ transplant procedures, and other surgical procedures.

An apheresis machine collects your platelets along with some plasma during a platelet donation, returning your red cells and the majority of the plasma to you. A single platelet donation can produce several transfusable units, whereas a single transfusable unit of platelets requires approximately five whole blood donations.

Plasma Donation

In this type of donation, you give plasma, a component of your blood that is used to treat patients in emergencies. Anyone, regardless of blood type, can receive AB plasma. Plasma is collected using an automated process that separates plasma from other blood components before returning your red blood cells and platelets to you safely and comfortably. It only takes a few minutes longer than blood donation. AB plasma is used to help stop bleeding in emergency and trauma situations.

Benefits of Blood Donation

There's no doubt that donating blood can save lives, but did you know that donors can also reap health benefits? Continue reading to learn more about the potential benefits of blood donation.

Iron Levels can be reduced

Iron aids in the transport of oxygen throughout the body, and our red blood cells contain approximately two-thirds of our body's iron. While some people have insufficient iron (iron deficiency), having too much iron in our blood can also be problematic. Excess iron accumulates in the liver, heart, and pancreas, where it can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, cardiac arrhythmia, and diabetes. One of the only ways to reduce the amount of iron in the body is to remove red blood cells during blood donations.

Cardiovascular Health Improvement

Blood donation has been shown in numerous studies to improve heart health. A 2013 study discovered that regular blood donation reduced total cholesterol, while another discovered that people who donated blood every six months had fewer heart attacks and strokes. And these aren't insignificant risk reductions. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, blood donors are 88% less likely to have a heart attack.

Reduced Cancer Risk

This advantage is most likely related to reduce iron levels in the blood. Regular blood donors have a lower risk of cancers of the liver, colon, lung, oesophagus, and stomach, according to studies.

Emotional and Social advantages

While more difficult to quantify than the benefits listed above, the emotional benefits of blood donation should not be overlooked. Helping others can reduce stress, boost emotional well-being, and foster a sense of community among you and your fellow donors. Because most people prefer to donate at blood drives near their homes or workplaces, forming bonds with co-workers or people in your community can have significant benefits for your emotional health.


Tips for the day of your donation: 

  • Consume a healthy meal, avoiding fatty foods such as hamburgers, fries, and ice cream.
  • Dress in a shirt with sleeves that can be rolled up above your elbows.
  • Please let the doctors know if you have a preferred arm or a specific vein that has previously been used successfully to draw blood.
  • While donating, you can unwind by listening to music, conversing with other donors, or reading.


After-donation suggestions:

  • Keep the strip bandage on for several hours; clean the area around the bandage with soap and water to avoid a skin rash.
  • For the rest of the day, avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise.
  • If the needle site begins to bleed, apply pressure and straighten your arm for 5-10 minutes, or until the bleeding stops.
  • If you feel dizzy or lightheaded, stop what you're doing and sit or lie down until you feel better; avoid performing any activity that could result in injury for at least 24 hours.
  • Continue to consume iron-rich foods.
  • If you donate frequently, make sure to take iron-fortified multivitamins to replenish your iron stores before your next donation.

Medical Disclaimer

Any medical information referred to in or through our blog is provided as information only and is not intended:

•             As medical diagnosis or treatment

•             To replace consultation with a qualified medical practitioner