Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Three pints in six months

Yesterday afternoon I made my third blood donation in 6-months, achieving my aim of again being a 'regular' donor.

A regular donor is someone who donates at least three times a year (you can donate every two months - so that's six times max per year). You're a trusted donor. And the benefit of becoming a regular donor and maintaining it, is that all of your blood components are used - red blood cells, platelets & plasma.

As a reminder, from my posting in October...

It is VERY important to become a regular donor. Once-off donations cannot be used effectively. "The more regularly you donate, the better the chance of your donated unit getting used for all components," says a FAQ response on the SANBS website ( Regular donors are the safest donors because they understand the donation process and factors that exclude them from donating within defined window periods, like medication, risky sexual behaviour and illness.

SANBS explains that if you are donating blood for the first time, your red blood cells won’t get used. Your plasma gets quarantined until your next donation. If all tests come back negative after your second donation, the quarantined plasma from your first donation will be used. This also applies if you haven’t donated blood for a while. Once you have made three donations and your blood still tests negative for sexually transmissible diseases, all the components of your blood gets used. You have to donate blood regularly!
Of interest... the one nurse at my donor clinic told me that 89% of blood donors only start donating after they have been on the life-saving receiving end of a transfusion. This startling statistic came from a survey that SANBS ran. She explained that her brother was one of these. Blood donation was "not for him" - until he was hijacked, shot in the abdomen and received 45 units of blood! He has now done 11 donations.

And 45 units is not unusual... it often takes 30-60 units to save car crash victims...

What you waiting for? Ring in the New Year by giving a pint, before having a pint.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In Kiwiland the Blood service says:

"Donors may donate whole blood up to four times a year with a gap of at least 12 weeks in between donations."

Keep up the good work.