Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Blood donation - working my way to 50

Today was my 47th blood donation; by the end of the year I'll be on 50.

As always, my reminder to you that if you donate blood, please do so regularly. By this I mean that in order to maintain your 'regular donor' status, you need to donate at least three times a year (max 6 times).

The whole point of being a regular donor is so that your whole donation is used because you are a trusted donor whose blood has been tested each time and has been clear of HIV and hepatitis (and other infectious agents) each time. As a recipient, your mind would be at rest knowing that the blood you receive is from a trusted source.

Here's how the blood donation process works:

  • You donate blood for the first time (first time ever or first time in a long time - same thing) .
  • Your blood goes through the tests and then sits on ice.
  • You go in a second time a few months later. 
  • Your second donation goes through the tests and if it is clear, this donation goes on ice and the plasma from your first donation is used. 
  • You go in a third time WITHIN A YEAR. 
  • This donation goes through the tests and if it is clear, then it will be used, together with the plasma from the second donation. 
  • Thereafter you need to maintain your regular donor status - your whole blood from every donation will be used.
If SANBS defers you from donating, do not see this as a form of rejection. Their objective is to ensure that blood donation is safe for BOTH donor and recipient. This is why they will not let you donate if you have conditions like diabetes or blood pressure and heart issues, if you take certain medications, if you have recently been in a malaria area or if you have low iron levels (and various others). 

If you cannot donate for any reason, you can still be supportive of blood donation by encouraging able friends and relations to donate and by educating anyone and everyone about the importance of becoming a regular donor and maintaining your status by donating at least three times a year, every year. 

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