Top 8 blood donation questions everyone should know the answers to

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1. When organized blood donation appeared in Russia

In this sense, the 20th century can be considered the period of development of blood donation in Russia as such and the formation of the blood service. For the first time, the process of blood transfusion as a therapeutic method was reflected in the instructions by the People’s Commissar of Health of the RSFSR Nikolai Semashko in 1928. At the same time, the allowable volumes of blood taken from a person were prescribed in the document – no more than 1% of body weight. And already 10 years later, a structure was created in our country, representing an extensive network of institutions, research institutes, transfusion points involved in attracting donors and storing blood.

With the development of donation and the discovery of more and more new facts, it was possible to find out that it is possible to transfuse not only blood, but also its individual fractions and components, such as plasma, erythrocytes, platelets, leukocytes. Over time, approaches to preparing material for transfusion have changed.

2. How the donation process is organized

Today, most often, donors donate individual blood components, less often whole blood, which is then divided into elements and infused into the recipient (in need of a blood transfusion).

Blood transfusion (blood sampling) is preceded by an examination to identify various pathologies. Before the donation procedure, the blood type and Rh factor of a person are determined, as well as the presence of the Cell antigen, which determines how well the donor blood will take root in the body – whether there will be a strong immune reaction to it when mixing erythrocytes Cell positive and Cell negative status. The blood is then tested for safety.

The process of transfusion can be compared to an ordinary blood test in a polyclinic – blood is taken from the donor’s vein in the morning. And this is no coincidence, such a period is defined as the most suitable, when the body adequately responds to blood loss. The earlier the procedure is done, the easier it is tolerated by the body. In the afternoon, it is recommended to donate blood, as a rule, only to healthy and experienced donors. But you don’t need to donate blood on an empty stomach, but you should follow the restrictions on food and alcohol intake 48 hours before donation. It is worth refraining from salty, smoked, spicy and fried foods, sweet carbonated drinks and some vegetables and fruits, as well as berries and nuts. You should not schedule a procedure after a physically difficult, intense period of time, such as night duty or just a sleepless night, just before exams, competitions, project submissions, etc.

The blood transfusion procedure takes no more than 10 minutes, during which time a person donates about 0.5 liters of blood. Special rest after transfusion is not required. One has only to limit oneself in physical activity within half an hour after the surrender and refrain from smoking.

3. If the body does not accept donated blood

Theoretically, such situations can arise if a recipient with Rh-negative blood is transfused with donor blood with a positive Rh factor or when Cell-positive and Cell-negative erythrocytes are mixed. In this case, the recipient may experience a life-threatening condition called hemolysis – this is when the body perceives donated blood as foreign and produces specific antibodies that contribute to the destruction of the red blood cells of the transfused blood.

In practice, this is not allowed. It is for this purpose that before a transfusion, the donor donates blood for research.

4. How donated blood is stored

Blood and its components have a shelf life. In whole liquid form, blood can be stored for a day at room temperature. Longer storage is possible at 5-6 °C, in this case, blood preservation is possible up to 4-6 weeks – this is considered the deadline when the optimal number of red blood cells for subsequent transplantation is preserved in the plasma. For long-term storage from a donor, blood is taken from a vein under sterile conditions and poured into special containers containing drugs that prevent clotting and blood clots, as well as glucose and sucrose, which are a good nutrient medium for erythrocytes, and, accordingly, keep longer. her vitality.

Specialists of the blood service have also worked out other methods of storing blood elements. It can be frozen, pre-equipped with substances that allow you to maintain the activity of red blood cells for a long time. Plasma is distributed in special plastic packages and stored in refrigerators at temperatures up to -200°C in the mode of constant monitoring of temperature conditions. This method of blood conservation allows not only to transfuse it as needed, but also to successfully replenish the reserves of rare groups.

5. Blood safety

Donated blood goes through many stages of verification. First of all, the donor himself is checked for the presence of viral and infectious diseases. Absolute contraindications to donating blood are: drug use, alcoholism, the presence of diseases such as hepatitis B and C, syphilis, HIV, chronic skin eczema, psoriasis, transplantation or removal of vital organs, even partial. In addition, each donated dose of blood is necessarily examined for the presence of antigens, antibodies of viruses, DNA, RNA and infectious agents.

6. Who can’t be a donor

In addition to carriers of the listed diseases, donors cannot be: pregnant women, nursing mothers, patients with heart disease, acute renal failure, tuberculosis, cancer patients, people with brain pathologies, blood diseases, severe allergic reactions, infectious or chronic diseases in the acute stage . Temporary contraindications for donation are: acute respiratory viral infections, influenza, after the treatment of which you need to wait a month and only then agree to the blood transfusion procedure. Also, you can not transfuse blood: within a week after tooth extraction, within a year after getting a tattoo, piercing procedure or acupuncture treatment, within 5 days after the end of menstruation and within six months after an abortion.

7. How to become a donor

The rules and procedure for donating blood, its preparation, storage are determined by the law “On the donation of blood and its components.” It is designed to ensure the safety of blood transfusions and protect the health of not only the recipient, but also the donor. You can become a donor by applying with a passport to the blood transfusion department of the nearest medical institution or blood center. A person who wishes to become a donor for the first time takes a blood test and is examined, including by a transfusiologist. A citizen of the Russian Federation over 18 years of age, with a body weight of at least 50 kg, blood pressure of at least 90/60 mm Hg and a heart rate of at least 50 beats per minute can become a donor, if these parameters do not match, refusal may follow. Those who donate blood regularly undergo an annual medical examination, which includes laboratory tests, an ECG, and a chest x-ray.

Absolutely healthy donors donate blood regularly, but men can donate blood no more than 5 times a year, women – no more than 4. In the absence of contraindications, plasma and platelets can be donated once every 2 weeks, and whole blood – once every 2 months.

8. Are donors healthy?

From the point of view of cleansing the body, hemotransfusion can be considered the best method for renewing blood flow. In medicine, it is often compared with plasmapheresis, a method of cleaning blood plasma from toxins and pathologically harmful substances to enhance immune processes in the body, as well as one of the components of complex therapy for healing or recovery after a long illness.

Therefore, any donor, helping people, helps himself to some extent.

Photo: Vostock Photo

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