Blood Bank

FAQ:

Q.Why should I give blood?

The most important reason for becoming a regular blood donor is to meet the blood needs of our community and country. Blood can not be manufactured in the factory. There is no substitute for human blood; donors are the only source. Every two seconds, someone needs blood, and an adequate blood supply is crucial to their survival. Remember, just one pint of your blood can save as many as four lives.

The demand for blood continues to increase, yet around 2% of the population donates.

Q. Can I get AIDS by donating blood?
There is no way you can be exposed to the AIDS virus by donating blood. All needles and equipment are pre-packaged, sterile and disposable. Nothing is ever re-used on another donor.

Q Who can give blood?
Anyone between the ages of 18 and 60 who are fit and healthy. Regular donors can keep on giving blood right up until the age of 70 under medical supervision.

Q Will I be asked hundreds of questions before I give blood?
Yes, we will be asking you a number of questions. A donor questionnaire form will be provided to you, but don't worry - we promise to get through it all as quickly as possible. And there is a good reason for it. Our primary concern is that giving blood won't affect your health in any way. We also have to make sure that your blood is safe for patients. We just need to find out whether or not you can give blood. Things like medical conditions, even colds, can all affect your suitability, although usually it's just temporary. We do need your co-operation in answering these questions. And of course all your details will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Q. What if I need to take medication?
Do tell us if you're on any kind of medication. Medicines, pills, injections, anything. Some of these may affect your blood and mean we can't take your donation for now.

Q. Can I bring a friend?
Please do. The more the merrier!

Q. Can I eat before I donate?
Yes. It is very important to drink plenty of fluids and eat a good meal within 4 hours before donating. It is also important to have a good night's sleep before donating.

Q. Does it hurt?
There is a little sting when the needle is inserted, but you should be comfortable during the donation.

Q. How will I feel after I donate?
Most people feel fine after donation. You will enjoy refreshments after you donate and we will instruct you to drink plenty of fluids for the next 24 hours.

Q. Can I exercise right after donating?
Avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for about 24 hours after donation. Most donors can resume normal activity after that time.

Q. Is my blood tested before it is used?
Every time you donate, blood samples are taken for testing. These tests include your blood type and testing for viruses such as Hepatitis and HIV. If your blood tests show that your blood may make someone sick, it will not be used and you are notified.

Q How often can I give blood?
4 times a year.

Q. How much blood will I lose?
Only about 350 ml. Bodies are amazing creature of god , and yours will replace that lost fluid in a very short period of time.

Q. How will giving blood affect my health?
If you're fit and healthy, you shouldn't experience any problems whatsoever.

Q. What if I feel faint when I get home?
You need to take it easy for a few hours after giving blood, so give that aerobics class a miss. But if you do feel faint or dizzy, sit down immediately and put your head between your knees. Ideally, let someone else know if you're feeling a bit faint. If faintness persists after your donation, don't hesitate to call us on 0542-2369237, 230-9415 to let us know and we'll be able to advise you further.

Q. What can I do before and after giving blood?
Drink lots of liquid before and after you donate - of course, not the alcoholic variety please. Eat your regular meals too, and do let us know if you've skipped a meal on the day.

Q. Can I smoke /chew tobacco after giving blood?
Probably best that you don't for about Eight hours after donating, as it might make you feel dizzy or faint.

Q. I gave up smoking and I am using patches, will I still be able to give blood?
Yes, probably. If you suffer from any symptoms as a result of quitting, we suggest you only give blood once those symptoms have passed. Most patches, nasal sprays and gum do not prevent you from giving blood but bring them along to the session and show the nurse or doctor before donating.

Q. Can I go back to work on the same day?
Unfortunately the answer is yes. However, there's always an 'however' - and it is not advisable to give blood just before undertaking a hazardous hobby or job, such as driving a crane or driving in the emergency services.

Q. Does Blood donation affect the sexual function?
NO

Q. I sometimes take tranquillisers. Does this prevent me from giving blood?
Well if you are taking better you tell to attending blood bank staff/nurse.The medical staff will need to see what medication you are on, so bring it with you. The nurse or doctor may have a quick chat with you about your medication and any underlying condition, but in the vast majority of cases tranquillisers do not stop you from giving blood.

Q. I suffer from varicose veins. As blood is carried around my body through my veins am I able to give blood?
Providing you are otherwise fit and healthy you are still able to be a blood donor and donating will do you no harm. However, if you are awaiting surgery or have recently had surgery this may temporarily exclude you.

Q. I've just had a tattoo/ ear piercing and am dismayed that I can't donate for 6 months. Why?
There is always an infection risk whenever the skin is pierced, and tattooing means lots of piercing. You MUST tell us if you have had ear piercing, body piercing or tattooing, or have had acupuncture 6 and 12 months ago as your donation will need an additional blood test.

Q. I have started taking 75mg of aspirin a day to thin my blood and help prevent heart attacks. Will this affect my ability to donate blood?
You can donate blood but, because aspirin may affect platelet function, your donation will not be used for preparing platelets. That is why it is always important to let us know if you are taking any over the counter medication regularly.

Q. I've heard that blood is used for research. Isn't it all needed by patients?
When you come to donate blood the leaflet you are asked to read, tells you that occasionally blood that is not needed for transfusion maybe used for research and development work. All such use is carefully controlled, ethical approval is obtained where appropriate and no donor is identified.

Q. I am a vegetarian, can I give blood?
There is no problem with vegetarians giving blood. The red blood cells, which require iron from the stores in your body, will need to be replaced after the donation. Provided you eat a well-balanced diet you should be able to replenish your iron supply within a month. However, this may take longer because you are a vegetarian.

Q. I have received blood transfusion within four months ago. Can I donate the blood?
NO. You will be temporarily differed for six months because of risk of any transfusion related infection if any.

Q. I am taking Birth Control Pill. Can I donate blood ?
Yes

Q. I am on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Can I donate the blood?
A. Women on hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms and prevention of osteoporosis are eligible to donate.
Q. I am having chronic Asthma and on regular prophylaxsis. Can I donate Blood?
A. If you have recent execrations of asthma than probably we may differ. This is to avoid any acute attacks during blood donation .However, acceptable as long as you are not having difficulty breathing at the time of donation and you otherwise feel well. Medications for asthma do not disqualify you from donating.
Q. I had Cancer of cervix for which I have been given radiotherapy five years back and my doctors says that there is no reoccurrence of cancer Can I donate blood?
Probably no. Better discuss with In-charge blood bank with your treatment document

Q.I had recently Cold, Flu. Can I donate blood?
Wait if you have a fever or a productive cough(phlegm)
Wait if you do not feel well on the day of donation.
Wait until you have completed antibiotic treatment for
sinus, throat or lung infection.

Q. I am suspicious that I might be having HIV, AIDS. Can I donate blood?

You should not give blood if you have AIDS or have ever had a positive HIV test, or if you have done something that puts you at risk for becoming infected with HIV.
You are at risk for getting infected if you:

  • have ever used needles to take drugs, steroids, or anything not prescribed by your doctor
  • are a male who has had sexual contact with another male, even once, since 1977
  • have ever taken money, drugs or other payment for sex since 1977
  • have had sexual contact in the past 12 months with anyone described above
  • received clotting factor concentrates for a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia
    You should not give blood if you have any of the following conditions that can be signs or symptoms of HIV/AIDS
  • unexplained weight loss (10 pounds or more in less than 2 months)
  • night sweats
  • blue or purple spots in your mouth or skin
  • white spots or unusual sores in your mouth
  • lumps in your neck, armpits, or groin, lasting longer than one month
  • diarrhea that won't go away
  • cough that won't go away and shortness of breath, or
  • fever higher than 100.5 F lasting more than 10 days.

Q. I have been Immunize/ Vaccinated ? Can I donate blood ?
Acceptable if you were vaccinated for influenza, tetanus or meningitis, providing you are symptom-free and fever-free.
Wait 2 weeks after immunizations for Yellow Fever vaccine.
Wait 7 days after immunization for Hepatitis B as long as you are not given the immunization for exposure to hepatitis B.

Q. I have Infections?
If you have a fever or an active infection, wait until the infection has resolved completely before donating blood.
Wait until finished taking antibiotics for an infection (bacterial or viral). Wait until 7 days after an antibiotic injection for an infection.

Q. I have been Intravenous Drug User (Main Liner) Can I?
Those who have ever used IV drugs that were not prescribed by a physician are not eligible to donate. This requirement is related to concerns about hepatitis and HIV.
Q. I had GBP proven Malaria, Can I donate blood?
Wait 3 years after completing treatment for malaria.
Q. I am on Medications, Can I?
In almost all cases, medications will not disqualify you as a blood donor. Your eligibility will be based on the reason that the medication was prescribed. As long as the condition is under control and you are healthy, blood donation is usually permitted.
Over-the-counter oral homeopathic medications, herbal remedies, and nutritional supplements are acceptable.
There are a handful of drugs that are of special significance in blood donation. Persons on these drugs have waiting periods following their last dose before they can donate blood:

  • Aspirin, no waiting period for donating blood. However you must wait 72 hours after taking aspirin or any medication containing aspirin before donating platelets by apheresis.
  • Clopidogrel - wait 7 days after taking this medication before donating platelets by apheresis.
  • Coumadin (warfarin) , heparin or other prescription blood thinners- you should not donate since your blood will not clot normally. If your doctor discontinues your treatment with blood thinners, wait 7 days before returning to donate.
  • Hepatitis B Immune Globulin - given for exposure to hepatitis, wait 6 months after exposure to hepatitis.
  • Human pituitary-derived growth hormone at any time - you are not eligible to donate blood.
  • Ticlopidine - wait 7 days after taking this medication before donating platelets by apheresis.

Q. I had Organ/Tissue Transplants can I?
Wait 12 months after receiving a Kidney transplant or tissue transplant (e.g Cornea)from another person.
Q. I have Skin Disease, Rash, Acne, Can I?
Acceptable as long as the skin over the vein to be used to collect blood is not affected. If the skin disease has become infected, wait until the infection has cleared before donating. Taking antibiotics to control acne does not disqualify you from donating.
Q. If I am having/had Tuberculosis, can I?
If you have active tuberculosis or are being treated for active tuberculosis you should not donate.
Acceptable if you have a positive skin test, but no active tuberculosis,or if you are receiving antibiotics for a positive TB skin test only.
If you are being treated for a tuberculosis infection, wait until treatment is successfully completed before donating.

Q. What do the different blood components do?
Plasma: Fluid portion of blood, contains water, albumin, hormones and clotting factors.
Red Cells: Carry oxygen from the lungs to all the tissues in the body and return carbon dioxide to the lungs
White Cells: Protect against disease and infections
Platelets:Small plate-shaped cells that cluster together to help form blood clots when bleeding occurs