Tuesday, June 9, 2015
It cannot be overstated how important blood donation is. But even though the internet contains plenty of information about it, it seems that some people are still too afraid or reluctant to do it. In addition, even if they decide to do it, there is still the possibility that, because of some medical issues, they are not allowed to donate blood. There are two reasons why this may be the case. Firstly, if there is any evidence that giving blood will cause you harm, the health professionals will advise you against donation. Secondly, if there is any proof that your donation could affect in any way the patient receiving it, then you should not go ahead with the process.
With all this in mind, you should NOT donate blood if:
- you have already donated blood in the last 12 weeks; usually, you should wait at least 16 weeks
- you have had any cosmetic treatment, tattoo or a permanent make up that involved skin piercing in the last 4 months
- you are pregnant or have given birth in the last six months
- you have had complicated dental work in the last 7 days, as it is considered safe to donate blood only after 24 hours from having a filling or one week after a simple extraction
- you had a major surgery or a severe illness in the past
- you are experiencing a sore throat, a chesty cough or cold sore
- you are following an antibiotics treatment or if you have just finished one within the last seven days
- you had any kind of infection in the last two weeks
- you have suffered from hepatitis or jaundice in the last 12 months
- you have had acupuncture in the last 4 months
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) runs in your family
- you have had certain immunisations within the last four weeks
- you are currently on a hospital waiting list or waiting to be tested
- you have had acupuncture in the last four months
- you have ever suffered from HIV, hepatitis C, syphilis or human t-lymphotropic virus (HTLV)
However, if you never experienced any of the above, it is totally safe for you to donate blood and we encourage you to do so. If you still have doubts about it, you should know that the necessity for blood never stops. Apparently, hospitals in England and North Wales need more than 6,000 blood donations every day, to be able to keep up with the demand. Health professionals have explained that the blood supply is not only crucial in cases of emergency, but also for people who are following a long-term treatment.
On 14th June this year, it is World Blood Donor Day, an international event that aims to thank blood donors who save lives every day and also to encourage people to leave their fears behind and give hope for those who need it. Once again, if your health allows you to, make a step forward and also encourage your friends to do so, because, one day, a person will be able to thank you for saving his or her life.