Today is World Blood Donor Day: 10 facts you may not know

Today, 14 June 2017, is World Blood Donor Day.

Wednesday marks a day of raising awareness about the importance of donating blood, blood safety, celebrating the volunteer blood donors, and encouraging people to donate, all over the world.

If you have time today, drop by a blood donor clinic to give blood, but remember it’s not just today, it should be as often as you can.

Here are 10 facts about blood donation that you may not know:

  • Each healthy individual can donate one unit of blood (half a litre) in three months; in turn, the one unit can help up to three different patients depending on their needs.
  • The life span of a red blood cell is 4 months, after when it is broken down in the liver and cleaned up from the rest of the blood through the kidney.
  • Despite the current medical technological advancement, blood cannot be manufactured and the only way of obtaining is through blood donation from healthy individuals.
  • Some medical conditions such as some cancers requires blood transfusion prior to initiation or continuation of treatment.
  • Blood groups are inherited and since some blood groups are rare, that is why relatives are important first line donors for their family members
  • In African communities, rhesus negative blood group are rarer, and we advise individuals to know their blood group, carry donor card with them in case of urgent cross match requirements.
  • To donate, you must be of ages 16 years to 65 years
  • The current local standard blood bank requires that donor weighs at least 50kgs and above
  • Donors can return for donations after three months provided they are in good health
  • Ladies must not be in their menses or pregnant in order to donate
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