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Advantage of Blood Donation

There are several advantages. Just to mention a few:
# New younger cells are generated within few days which have better functioning capacity.
# Quality of blood improves after every blood donation.
# Regular blood donors have low risk of developing hypertension, heart attacks & brain strokes.
# You also come to know about your health status.
# Hence better & health living.
# Your voluntary card gives you the insurances coverage of one unit of blood or blood component for any patient up to one year

Blood Facts

There is no substitute for human Blood.
Blood makes up about 7% of your body's weight.
An average adult has about 14 to 18 points of Blood.
One standard unit or pint of Blood equals about two cups.
Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to all of the body.
Blood carries carbon dioxide and other waste products back to the lungs, kidneys and liver for disposal.
Blood fights against infection and helps heal wounds.
One unit of donated whole Blood is separated into components before use (red Blood cells, white Blood cells, plasma, platelets, etc.)
There are four main Blood types: A, B, AB and O.
Each Blood type is either Rh positive or negative.
The three main types of cells making up our Blood are the White Blood cells, Red Blood cells and Platelets:

White Blood Cells (WBCs) are the largest of the three types of cells and are responsible for fighting infections or germs. White Blood cells have a rather short life cycle, living from a few days to a few weeks. One drop of Blood can contain from 7,000 to 25,000 white Blood cells. If an invading infection fights back and persists, that number will significantly increase.

Red Blood Cells (RBCs) make up approximately 40% of Blood volume, carry oxygen to the cells of your body and return to the lungs to excrete carbon dioxide.

Platelets, the smallest of the Blood cells; make up 5% to 7% of total Blood volume. Platelets form a 'mesh' net to form clots in the Blood to help stop bleeding.


There are five types of White Blood Cells (WBCs):

basophil - acts on smooth muscle and Blood cell walls;

eosiniphil - acts against infestations of parasitic larvae;

lymphocyte - recognizes surface markers on cells and targets them for destruction if foreign to the body;

monocyte - formed bone marrow, monocytes migrate into connective tissue and become macrophages; and,

neutrophil - the first line of defense, 100 billion mature neutrophils are released into the body everyday.


There are about one billion red Blood cells in a few drops of whole Blood.

Red Blood cells live about 120 days in our bodies.
Red Blood cells can be stored under normal conditions for up to 42 days.
Frozen red Blood cells can be stored for ten years, and more.
Platelets must be used within five days.
Platelets are small Blood cells that assist in the process of Blood clotting helping those with leukemia and other cancers, controlling bleeding.
Plasma, the fourth major component of Blood, is a sticky, pale yellow fluid mixture of water, protein and salts. It is 95% water. The other 5% is made up of nutrients, proteins and hormones.
Blood Plasma constitutes 55% of the volume of human Blood.
Plasma helps maintain Blood pressure, carries Blood cells, nutrients, enzymes and hormones, and supplies critical proteins for Blood clotting and immunity.
Plasma can be collected from a normal healthy donor twice weekly (max. every 48 hours) and is the most frequently donor paid-for component of Blood. Plasma is often referred to as "the college students beer money."
Type AB plasma has been considered as the universal Blood plasma type, and therefore AB plasma is given to patients with any Blood type.
Frozen Plasma can be stored for up to one year.
Human Blood; red Blood cells, white Blood cells, plasma and platelets are made naturally by the body in the bone marrow.

ABOUT BLOOD TESTING and SAFETY

Most Blood processing facilities perform 11 or 12 basic tests on every unit of donated Blood. Nine of these are for infectious diseases. These tests include screenings for: hepatitis (a liver infection); HIV (the virus that causes AIDS); HTLV-I (a virus associated with a rare form of leukemia); HTLV-II; and syphilis. Other tests are needed, but, are cost prohibitive and therefore not performed. The World Health Organization suggests only nine basic Blood tests.

Approximately 95% of Blood samples taken are tested within 24 hours of arrival at the Blood testing laboratory.

In the United States, for some Blood centers, if testing indicates that a unit of Blood may pose a threat to a patient, that Blood is destroyed. The donor is then entered into the Donor Deferral Register, a national computerized database of more than 250,000 known individuals who are deferred from donating Blood. This system assumes honest donors when selling or donating their Blood, or Blood products. At some point all Blood centers must subscribe to this service.

It matters, geographically, where we get a Blood transfusion.

Every day more is learned about Blood chemistry and the Blood supply. The Blood supply, therefore, is getting safer as more is known about the makeup of Blood and Blood diseases. Looking at the big picture, little is known to date.

 
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