Each one of us has the most precious resource of all – the ability to save life by donating blood. Help share this invaluable gift with someone in need.
Blood donation costs nothing, but it will save a life. If you’re a blood donor, you are an angel to someone, somewhere; who received your gracious gift of life. A life may depend on a generous offering from you, a bottle of blood. “The finest gesture one can make is to save life by donating blood.”
One evening in March 2017 I received a shocking phone call from my friend that her 12 year old son has been diagnosed with leukemia and was admitted to Dubai Hospital. She wanted me to be by her side as she was devastated by the news that her doctor just gave her. I went to meet her and after that, for the next few weeks I regularly went to the hospital. I came across scores of patients suffering from so many different types of medical conditions – some so rare, that I hadn’t even heard of them before. I felt a strong urge to do something for them, but the question was what could I do? I don’t have much to offer.
Last week I received an email from my community about a blood donation camp. The email read, “You can give blood if you are fit and healthy, weigh over 50kg, and are aged between 17 and 66 years.” I met all the criteria. I felt that I found an answer to the daunting question that had burdened my soul for the past several months.
After donating blood, I realized, that to donate a unit of blood, one neither needs extra strength nor extra food, and by doing so, viola you will save a life.
Ten minutes of your time + 450 ml. of your blood = Three lives saved.
I had a lengthy discussion with the nurse in charge of the camp about FAQ’s on blood donation:
What are the do’s and don’ts for a blood donor before and after blood donation?
- Don’t donate on an empty stomach.
- Eat a healthy breakfast before donating blood.
- Eat food that is high in iron and protein content before donating blood.
- Drink plenty of fluids after donating blood.
- Rest for the remainder of the day, don’t plan a trip to the gym that day.
How often can I give blood?
- Men can give blood every 12 weeks and women can give blood every 16 weeks.
Who can’t donate blood?
- Some people are disqualified from donating blood because they have diseases that are transmissible via blood like AIDS, hepatitis virus, cancer etc
- Individuals who have had body piercing or tattoo done in last 12 months.
- One may not donate blood while one has the flu.
- Pregnancy and recent childbirth rule one out as a blood donor.
- A person cannot donate blood while they are on antibiotics.
- A person whose hemoglobin count is lower than 12 can’t donate.
Who needs a blood transfusion?
Blood transfusions are very common. Each year, millions of people around the globe need blood transfusion. This procedure is used for people of all ages.
Many people who undergo surgery need blood transfusion because they lose blood during the procedure. For example, about one-third of all heart surgery patients have a transfusion.
Some people who have serious injuries – such as from road accidents, war, or natural disasters – need blood transfusions to replace blood lost during the injury.
Some people need blood or parts of blood because of illnesses. A person may need a blood transfusion if they have:
- A severe infection or liver disease that stops your body from properly making blood or some parts of blood.
- An illness that causes anemia, such as kidney diseaseor cancer. Medicines or radiation used to treat a medical condition also can cause anemia.
- A bleeding disorder, such as hemophilia or thrombocytopenia.
By donating blood you are not just helping save a life but it is noteworthy that regular blood donation also brings several benefits to your own health (aids in weight loss, helps in lowering the risk of cancer, beneficial in reducing risk of heart and liver ailments, stimulates production of new blood cells and helps in maintaining good health, gives you a quick health check up as well).
The blood donor of today may be the recipient of tomorrow.
To the young and healthy it’s no loss. To the sick it is hope of life.
Donate blood to save a life.Contributed by: Lulua Ahsan – UAE