The Importance of Donating Blood and Blood Types

Certain conditions make it a necessity for a person to require a blood transfusion.  These include medical conditions, surgical operations, anemia or an accident. Having blood available quickly can save a life.  Donating blood is one of the most significant contribution a person can give to his/her community. It is not harmful to the body; the body regenerates blood within a few days.

You inherit your blood type from a mix of your parents’ genes. There are eight main blood types, organised through two combined systems. These systems are ABO (blood types A, B, AB or O) and Rh type or group (positive or negative).

Criteria to Give Blood

The general criteria to give blood are:

  1. Be in good general health and feeling well and did not suffer with an illness within the last month.
  2. Be between the ages of 18 and 65.
  3. Weigh 110 pounds or more.

When you are asked to give blood,the hospital laboratory will advise you on your eligibility.Follow the link to the PDF below,to find out more information about donating blood.

Link to PDF: Blood Donation

Before Blood Donation

Drink  an extra  16 oz. glass of water or nonalcoholic beverage.
Eat a healthy meal within 3 hours of donation.
Make sure that you walk with two forms of identification.
Bring the names of medications you are taking.

During Blood Donation

Wear clothing with short sleeves that can easily be raised above your elbows.
Tell the nurse if you are taking any medications, had any recent operations, been recently vaccinated or had a tattoo in the last year.
Relax, listen to music, talk to other donors or read to help you relax during the blood donation process.
Someone will check your temperature, pulse, blood pressure and haemoglobin level.

After Blood Donation

Enjoy a snack or drink immediately after.
Relax for 15 – 20 minutes before you leave.
Maintain a healthy iron level in your diet by eating fish, poultry, beans, spinach, raisins and foods that are rich in iron.
Get a good night’s rest