If you have read about the benefits of donating blood, I’m sure you are now thrilled to donate. But hold on a second… You must first know whether or not you are qualified as a donor, as there are requirements to meet. Don’t worry, most of us are qualified. Let’s find out!
A donor must be healthy on the day of donation; physically and mentally, free from chronic diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever or other infectious diseases in the past.
The most suitable age to donate is between 18-60 years old. However, if you are 17 years old, please obtain written permission from your parents or legal guardian. Senior citizens of age between 61-65 years must first get a written approval from their physician.
The ideal weight for qualified donors should exceed 45 kg. The maximum amount of blood taken is 450 ml for those who weigh more than 50 kg. Whereas, if you weigh between 45-50 kg, the amount of blood taken is only 350 ml. Your hemoglobin level must exceed 12.5 gm%.
A donor must get more than 5 hours sleep in the evening before the day of donation. He/she should not fast on the day as donors must eat at least eat 3 hours prior to donating blood.
Medication and vaccination
Donating blood is not allowed for those under antibiotic treatment within 7 days prior to donation, and 24 hours after taking any sort of vaccination.
Same goes to those who are taking certain medications that are prohibited for blood donation procedure. So, it is necessary that you refer to any medical officer in charge before you donate.
Sexuality and lifestyle
Anyone who lives a high-risk lifestyle are not allowed to donate. For instance, consuming alcohol within 24 hours prior to donation day is not allowed. Candidates with tattoo/s, semi-permanent make-up or cosmetic treatment that involves skin-puncturing procedures in the last 6 months will be rejected. Also, those who have been tested positive to antibodies to HIV are not eligible for donation.
The same rule applies to anyone who engages in same-sex intercourse (homosexual), both sexes (bisexual), with commercial sex workers or prostitutes, who exchanged partners, or being the partner to someone who are engaged with anyone from the above groups.
For donors who often donate blood, your last donation should be carried out at least 3 months before the donation day, to full blood donors (all blood cells) and 2 weeks for the apheresis (plasma and platelets only) donors.
For females, you are not allowed to donate blood if you are menstruating, pregnant, breastfeeding, or experienced a miscarriage 6 months prior to the donation.
Anyone who have ever lived in the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands) or the Republic of Ireland from 1980-1996 for a period of 6 months or more, or have lived in Europe from 1980 to present for 6 months or more, are prohibited from donating.
Meanwhile, to those with health problems such as fever or flu in the past one week; heart problems; hypertension; epilepsy; diabetes (under insulin therapy); or have a history of cancer; chronic kidney disease or liver disease; bleeding tendency; venereal diseases and others; undergone major surgery in the last 6 months are not eligible to donate.
If you ever fainted at your last blood donation, you are at greater risk of having problems at your next donation, and so it is not advisable for you to donate.
Perhaps the requirements above seem a lot, but still, they are not too complicated, right? If you meet the above requirements, what are you still waiting for?