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Style Donating blood regularly is safe and an important public service - here's how often you can donate

02:55  03 april  2021
02:55  03 april  2021 Source:   msn.com

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How regularly a person donates blood will depend on the type of donation they are providing. This is because different components of the blood replenish at different rates. Iron is an important mineral, as it helps replenish red blood cells after donation . If a person does not have the required hemoglobin levels, they may have to wait until their iron levels increase before donating . Tattoos and piercings. If a person has a tattoo or piercing, it may affect when they can donate blood due to the related risk of hepatitis.

By donating blood , people can help save lives. However, people need to be aware of certain factors that can affect how often they can give blood . Before giving blood , a person will need to fill out a form providing certain details, such as their medical history. This ensures that the blood people donate is safe and can effectively help others. In some cases, a person may need to wait a certain amount of time before they are able to give blood . People will also need to leave some time between donations , depending on the type of donation they choose.

You can donate blood six times per year. Kmatta/ Getty Images © Kmatta/ Getty Images You can donate blood six times per year. Kmatta/ Getty Images
  • You should donate blood a max of 6 times per year.
  • You can donate platelets 24 times a year, and plasma 12 times a year.
  • Pregnant women, people with anemia, dementia, or HIV should not donate blood.
  • Visit Insider's Health Reference library for more advice.

If you give blood regularly, don't fret. Contrary to common misconceptions, blood donations are not associated with premature death or cancer. By donating blood, you'll be saving multiple lives.

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs some type of blood transfusion, and a single donation can save as many as three lives. Moreover, it's safe to donate blood several times a year, and institutions use sterile equipment for each donor to eliminate the risk of contracting infections.

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Advantages of blood donation . Share on Pinterest. Donating blood can help others with health needs. Donating blood is safe , as long as the center follows the standard guidelines. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy .

Blood can’t be artificially manufactured and blood donation services such as the Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) relies on voluntary blood donors and encourages all eligible donors to donate while observing all COVID-19 measures. There' s an urgent need for more blood donors as only a mere 1.5% of the Western Cape’ s population donates blood . Donated blood is separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets. Whole blood is only used in cases of severe blood loss during surgery, trauma or for exchange transfusion in infants.

That said, not everyone can become a blood donor. Certain health conditions may affect your eligibility to donate blood, such as dementia or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

Here's what you need to know about how to become a blood donor safely.

How often can you donate blood?

When donating blood, there are several different ways to go about it. You can donate whole blood - everything in the vial. Or, you can donate blood components like plasma, red blood cells, and platelets, where a machine separates your blood into the various components and then returns the leftovers to your body.

The main difference between each donation is how often you can safely do it.

"You can donate whole blood every 56 days or up to 6 times a year," says Bruce Sachais, MD, PhD, chief medical officer of the New York Blood Center. That's because, "it takes the body four to eight weeks to replace red blood cells," says Sachais." On the other hand, you can donate platelets and plasma more frequently.

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Blood donations not only save lives in emergency situations but they also help those suffering from terminal illness enjoy a better quality of life too - here ' s exactly where you can make a donation . You can book yourself in for a blood donation appointment at any of these permanent centres while the pop-up donation centres work on a drop-in basis. New donors between the ages of 17-65 need to register online here before donating for the first time.

Side Effects After Donating Blood . What to Expect When You Give Blood . There are also potential benefits for people who regularly donate blood How often can you donate blood ? 3. Donation . When it’s time to donate , here ’ s what will happen: You ’ll go into a donor room where you ’ll lie down on a cot.

Medical term: Platelets are blood cells that form clots to stop the bleeding, and plasma is the liquid part of blood that carries the proteins that are vital for blood clotting.Red blood cells are bring oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body and carry away CO2.

"Platelets may be donated up to 24 times a year and plasma up to 12 times a year," says Sachais. You can donate more frequently because the body replaces plasma and platelets faster than red blood cells.

"Donating blood is a safe activity," says Tho Pham, MD, chief medical officer of the Stanford Blood Center. However, if you donate too often, you may develop anemia, a condition where your blood doesn't have enough red blood cells, he says.

"That's one of the main reasons why we check the donor's hemoglobin level before every donation [-] to ensure that it is high enough," says Pham. "Based [on] extensive research over a long period, the FDA has established federal guidelines around how often and how much individuals can donate blood so as not to compromise their health."

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Regular blood donations were thought to lower blood pressure trusted Source, but a 2017 study trusted Source suggests these observations are deceiving and are not a real physiological response. Side effects of donating blood . Blood donation is safe for healthy adults. There’ s no risk of Once your donation is complete, you ’ll be given a snack and a drink and be able to sit and rest for 10 or 15 minutes before you leave. If you feel faint or nauseous, you ’ll be able to lie down until you feel better. How Many Times A Year Can I Give Blood ? NHS Blood and Transplant advise donors to donate at

Does actually recommended that blood is donated on a monthly basis it can be done more often typically weekly to bi-weekly however to basically to receive a healthy specimen or should I say donation the body should be given more than enough time to build up all of the vitamins minerals platelets hormones and everything else that basically blood is made up. You can donate twice a week. The U. S . Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows 2 donations within a 7-day period, with at least 2 days between donations .


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Who isn't eligible to donate blood?

Blood donors should usually be at least 18 years old, but 16 to 17-year-olds may donate with written consent from their parent or legal guardian. There is generally no upper age limit, but some institutions require a physician's letter for donors above 75 years old.

"While about 38% of the US population can donate blood, others may be ineligible for a wide variety of reasons designed to protect patients who may be receiving the donated blood products or even to protect the donors themselves," says Pham.

Some factors temporarily prohibit you from donating blood, such as:

  • Pregnancy: Pregnant individuals can't donate blood because they need additional iron during their pregnancy and because pregnant women tend to develop mild anemia during their pregnancy. They need to wait six months after giving birth before they can donate blood safely.
  • Tattoos: If you recently had a tattoo in a state-regulated facility that used sterile needles and new ink, you can donate blood with no problem. However, if your state does not regulate tattoo facilities, you'll have to wait three months before donating blood to minimize the risk of spreading transfusion-transmissible infections such as syphilis or HIV.
  • Medications: Taking certain medications makes you temporarily ineligible to be a blood donor, and the waiting period after your last dose depends on the medication that you took. For example, you can only donate blood seven days after you stopped taking blood thinners such as Coumadin or Warfilone, but you have to wait three years after your last dose of Soriatane, the oral retinoid treatment for psoriasis.
  • Recent travel: Visiting areas that are associated with a greater risk for mosquito-borne infections, such as malaria, dengue, and Zika virus, may keep you from donating blood either temporarily or permanently, depending on location.

However, certain conditions permanently rule you out from becoming a blood donor, such as:

  • Anemia
  • Dementia
  • HIV, even if the condition is controlled
  • Hepatitis B or C
  • Hemophilia, a disorder where the blood doesn't clot normally
  • Leukemia, even with a current or previous history
  • Stroke, even if you've recovered
  • Syphilis

There are plenty of eligibility criteria to become a blood donor. If you're unsure whether or not you qualify, you can get in touch with a blood center near you to walk you through your eligibility.

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How to donate blood safely

Prior to your blood donation, there are several things you have to keep in mind, such as:

DOs:DON'Ts:
Drink plenty of water before your blood donation.Drink alcohol, which dehydrates the body.
Eat iron-rich foods, like red meat, fish, and poultry, because the body needs iron to make new blood cells.Eat fatty foods in abundance, such as fried or processed foods, because donated blood that is high in fat cannot be tested for infectious diseases.
Get seven to nine hours of sleep.

Take aspirin for at least 48 hours before your platelet donation because it affects platelet function.

"Since donating whole blood temporarily decreases the amount of red blood cells, and therefore hemoglobin, in your system, it's advisable to take an iron supplement, especially after your donation, to give your body a little extra boost as it starts creating more red blood cells," says Pham.

Eating foods that are rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, helps you absorb iron better.

Insider's takeaway

You can donate one pint of blood every eight weeks, and it will take your body four to eight weeks to replace the number of red blood cells that you lost. You might not be allowed to donate blood depending on your medications, recent travel history, or certain health conditions like HIV, hepatitis B or C, or dementia.

Avoid drinking alcohol and eating fatty foods before your blood donation. Instead, get adequate sleep, drink plenty of water, and eat foods that are rich in iron and vitamin C to stay healthy and help your body create more blood cells.

"Long-term donation is safe. Many blood donors donate regularly over decades without health issues. Good nutrition, including eating iron-rich foods, help ensure blood levels return after each donation," says Sachais.

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