Blood donation is a noble act and has saved millions of lives all around the globe. There is no way to manufacture blood, it can only be transfused and yet a lot of people are reluctant to donate blood. It is important that people understand what blood donation actually is and contribute to saving a life. So, here are 10 facts about blood donation that you must know. Because, the more you know, the better equipped you are to save someone.
#1. The process
Blood donation is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each patient and discarded after use. An average adult as about 10 units of blood in his/her body and only 1 unit (300ml) is taken out during donation.
Various countries around the world reward monetary an non-monetary compensation to blood donors. Plasmapheresis blood donors in the US get $25 to $50 per donation. Malaysia and Singapore provide medals to blood donors while Italy gives its blood donors a holiday on the the day of donation. However, some countries do not offer any compensation.
#3. Voluntary donation
Blood donation is a voluntary act and accounts for 100% of the supply in 57 countries. Back in 2013, 74 countries reported to getting about 90% of their blood via voluntary and unpaid donors.
The most frequently used components are RBCs and they have a shelf life of only 35- 42 days at freezing temperatures. This duration can be extended but the process is very expensive and needs a cold freezer for refrigeration. Plasma on the other hand can survive for at least a year as long as it is frozen.