Blood Donation: The Entire Process Summarised
If you are planning to donate blood, then just go ahead and do it; the importance of blood donation can’t be overemphasised. But do you know what happens at a donation centre? How is the process of blood donation carried out? If not, then here is some information that you will find valuable. Read on-
The process of donating blood-
Generally, when we talk about blood donation, we refer to whole blood. Donating whole blood means you donate your blood in the form that exists in your body. It is your whole blood from which most other blood products are extracted.
Once you reach the donation area, you will be greeted at the reception desk and a parking permit will be issued in your name.
First-time blood donors are provided with a questionnaire that they need to go through to prepare for the medical interview before donors can give their blood.
Upon reading the questionnaire, you will know if there is anything in it that hinders you from donating blood. Once you declare there no such hindrance and you are ready, you will be registered in the NBTS database. You are given to drink water at the reception itself.
Once your registration is done, your weight will be measured, and your haemoglobin level will be checked. They will also record your body temperature.
After these formalities are over, you are required to meet a doctor stationed at the donation area for your interview. The interview is taken in a private room, where the doctor discusses the questionnaire with you. After going over the questionnaire, they will conduct a medical examination of your body.
When the questionnaire is discussed, you will be made to understand its various aspects. You can also get your doubts cleared by your doctor at this point. Once the discussion is over, the doctor decides on whether or not to allow you to go ahead with the rest of the blood donation process. Remember, blood is precious, and it’s always in demand. If you are told to not donate your blood, it would primarily be to protect you or the recipient from health hazards.
That is why it’s extremely important that you honestly answer all the questions in the questionnaire and anything else that your doctor asks you.
A high level of confidentiality is maintained regarding your health details. Only a few authorised people will have access to your medical history.
Once the interview is over, the doctor and the donor both have to sign on the questionnaire. Now, you are all set to donate your blood if the doctor has permitted you to do so. The donor’s blood is also checked for its blood group, West Nile virus, Siphilis, HIV, Hep B and Hep C. You will have to give your nod for this by signing an agreement.
Upon screening, if your test results come positive for the above- mentioned, you might be restricted from donating blood forever. You will be given proper medical advice and will be referred to a specialist.
Say, you are given a green flag. What happens then? Well, you are guided to the donation area, where you will be offered some water. If you haven’t taken food for a few hours, you might also be advised to have a light snack. This is to make sure you do not suffer from dizziness or other unpleasant effects during the process of blood donation.
Inside the donation area, you will be allowed to lie down on a couch comfortably. You will have to loosen up your garments, strings and belts. At this point, the nurse will tell you about the procedure and how it will be carried out, especially if you are a first-time donor. Once that is done, your skin will be disinfected for needle insertion. The entire blood donation process takes around 5 to 10 minutes. If you feel any kind of unusual sensation, quickly report it to the nurse. The donor is constantly monitored for abnormalities in the body or for indications of fainting. When the process is complete, you will be allowed to eat. The nurse will check if you are feeling well. And after about 15 minutes, you will be allowed to leave.
When can you donate next?
If you are a female donor, then you can donate again after 4 months, whereas male donors can donate merely after 3 months.