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National Blood Transfusion Council (NBTC) - MoHFW, India
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FAQs on Blood Donation

All you need to know

  • About eligibility
  • Blood donation process
  • How safe it is?
  • More
  • Why is one not allowed to donate blood before attaining the age of 18 years ?
    Physiologically there is no harm if one satisfies otter conditions for blood donation. 18 being the age of consent in our county, the reason is legal.
    Can one donate blood if one's body weight is less than 45 kg?
    No
    Why blood is not collected from a person having a haemoglobin content of less than 12.5 gm/l00ml?
    The stipulated haemoglobin content of 12.5 gm/100 ml for a donor is the standard for a healthy person. Persons having less Hb content than the prescribed one cannot be treated as healthy donor having sufficient Hb for donations and hence are not allowed to donate blood. Further, blood weak in Hb content does not help the patient much in carrying oxygen to cells.
    Who can give blood?
    Anyone between 18 and 65 years of age and in normal health having a body weight of 45 kg or more and a haemoglobin content no less than 12.5 gms/hundred ml can be a donor.
    Nobody has ever asked me to donate blood.
    Consider yourself invited!
    I am too old!
    If you are between 18 and 65 years and in good health you can donate blood.
    But I am underweight!
    Not, if you are 45 Kg. or more, and in good health you can donate blood.
    Oh! But I am anaemic!
    We test for anaemia before every donation.
    Is there any chance of contracting blood communicable disease by donating blood?
    No, since sterilized disposable bleeding sets are used.
  • What diet should I follow if I am deciding to donate blood?
    Maintain a healthy iron level in your diet by eating iron rich foods, such as red meat, fish, poultry, beans, spinach, iron-fortified cereals and raisins.
    What should be kept in mind a day before blood donation?
    Get a good night's sleep.Drink an extra 16 oz. of water or nonalcoholic fluids before the donation.
    Can I exercise before donating blood?
    You can still exercise, but don't do anything more strenuous than usual: this applies before and after donating blood. Also ensure you are fully recovered and well hydrated before you donate blood.
    What should I eat before going for a blood donation?
    Eat a healthy meal before your donation. Avoid fatty foods, such as hamburgers, fries or ice cream before donating.
    What if I am deciding to donate platelets?
    If you are a platelet donor, remember that your system must be free of aspirin for two days prior to donation.
    I am feeling a bit nervous!
    Nervousness is normal, come with a friend or bring along a book or MP3 player so you can relax during your visit.
    Is there anything I need to carry with me while going for blood donation?
    Remember to bring any form of identity document like donor card (if any), driving license, college ID, Aadhaar or elector’s photo identity card.
  • What laboratory tests are performed in blood bank for each bag of collected blood?
    Jaundice (Hepatitis B & C), Malaria, HIV (AIDS) test, Venereal disease (STD), Blood Group, Before issuing blood, compatibility tests (cross matching) are done.
    Why the above laboratory tests are not performed before donation?
    They are time consuming tests, and if performed in camp before donation, there will be excessive delay in disposal of donors, and the disgusted donors may leave the camps and refrain from donating blood for ever. Besides, post donation tests are mandatory.
    How long can blood be preserved in a blood bank?
    In India blood is normally preserved in blood bank for 35 days using CPDA or CPDA1 solution as anticoagulant and 42 Days with Sagam.
    Does it take long time to donate blood?
    In India blood is normally preserved in blood bank for 35 days using CPDA or CPDA1 solution as anticoagulant and 42 Days with Sagam.
    How much blood do you take?
    Blood banks take only 350 ml of blood as your gift of love.
    Why is my finger pricked before donation?
    To estimate "haemoglobin" content in blood. This is the component of the red cells which transport oxygen in the human body to all the organs and tissues. If the level is low, it is not wise to give blood.
    What is the liquid in the bag into which the blood is taken?
    It is called anti-coagulant and prevents the blood from clotting. It also helps to preserve the blood cells. It is known as CPDA (Citrate, Phosphate, Dextrose, Adenine) solution.
    You wouldn't want my blood, would you? I am of a common group.
    We constantly need donors of all blood groups.
    I am too busy and it is too inconvenient!
    The entire procedure of blood donation takes about 15-20 minutes whereas the actual Blood Donation is just 5 minutes job!
    Why 3 month's interval has been stipulated though donated blood is recuperated within
    As an additional precautionary measure for safety of donor.
    How often can one give blood?
    Not more than once in 90 days.
    Is blood donation very painful?
    No. Not more than a prick of an injection needle.
    Will I feel all right after donation?
    Yes, you can go back to your normal work after 30 minutes.
    But it will make me weak.
    Blood donation has no ill effect on the body. You can resume your routine duties immediately after blood donation. The amount of blood donated is a small part of your surplus blood and is recouped by the body in twenty one days and you can donate blood again after 3 months.
  • I have heard of people fainting. Is that common?
    Very occasionally a donor may faint. The most common reason is psychological and often due to rushing to get up too soon after donating. Relax and rest a little and you will be fine.
    What is AIDS? Is there any chance of contracting AIDS by donating blood?
    AIDS is an abbreviation for Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome, which reduces the inherent power of the defence mechanism of human body. As a result, the affected person suffers from other ailments, which may be fatal. No. there is no chance of contracting AIDS by donating blood, since disposable bleeding sets are used.
    Does the blood group of a particular person change with time?
    No
    What is Rh factor?
    Rh factor indicates the presence or absence of an organic compound in the membranes of red cells of human blood, similar to that present in the membrane of the red cells of Rhesus Macacusmonkey. Those having the compound are denoted as Rh positive and those without such compound are denoted as Rh negative.