Dr. Ch.Gopal, Neurophysician, The Deccan Hospital.
World Blood Donor Day – Tips to Prepare for Blood Donation
World Blood Donor Day is celebrated by the World Health Organisation on June 14 every year. This day was created to raise awareness among people for the need of safe blood and blood products and also serves as a way to thank blood donors across the world for donating blood.
According to the WHO, 65 percent of blood transfusions in developing countries are given to children, who are under five years of age. And, every year, about 107 million blood donations occur.
Here are some tips on how to prepare yourself for donating blood and give the gift of life to someone:
- Determine whether you eligible to donate blood. Every blood donation centre or camp will have its own eligibility requirements. Usually, people can donate blood if they are healthy and do not suffer from an illness; weigh a minimum of 50 kg and are 18 years and above. Do not donate blood if you have an upset stomach, cold, cough or fever.
- If you have recently visited the dentist and had some dental work, avoid donating blood. You need to wait a minimum of 24 hours after minor dental work to donate blood; and a minimum of 1 month after major dental work.
- Drink a lot of water or fresh fruit juice the previous night and the morning of the blood donation. This will prevent your blood pressure from falling and experiencing dizziness and faintness. You should be looking to consume four large-sized glasses of water or juice in three hours before the donation.
- Never donate blood on an empty stomach, as it could result in faintness or lightheadedness. Eat three hours before donating blood and this will help in keeping your blood sugar levels stable.
- Eat iron rich food, such as spinach, eggs and whole grains, for at least two weeks before you donate blood. In addition, supplement your food with Vitamin C to maximise the absorption of iron. You can do this by consuming citrus fruits.
Dr. S. V. subramanyam, Department of Nephrology, The Deccan Hospital