Today, it is worth saying “Save A Life With Your Blood” as we mark world blood donor day. World Blood Donors’ Day (WBDD) is celebrated on the 14th of June every year. This event was established in 2004 to increase awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products transfusion; and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood.
To all voluntary donors, we say AYEKOO!
Blood, they say is LIFE and without it, no living organism would survive. It is quite unfortunate to hear a person lose his/her life because of the shortage of blood. Blood donation is an exercise which lasts for not more than 30 minutes and involves the removal of one pint of blood from a healthy individual to help save lives. Research from the Ghana National Blood Services has shown that there will be no shortage of blood if 2.8% of the Ghanaian population is to take part in this exercise.
Most often, it is misconstrued that, blood donation benefits only the recipient. However, the benefits it gives to the donor is far greater than the amount of blood being collected.
Ideally, every individual has to visit the hospital for medical examination every 4 months, but this has become burdensome for most Ghanaians. Participants of voluntary blood donation, however, enjoy free medical examination after every 4 months once they are due for another donation
Benefits of Blood Donation to the Donor
Blood donation helps one to be screened for Syphilis, HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C viruses at no cost. Once an infection is detected, the donor is contacted and given the necessary medical intervention as well as counselling. Prior to donation; blood pressure, haemoglobin levels, vital signs as well as counselling is given. This is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of donors.
Admittedly, blood donation boosts and gives better haemoglobin (Hb) level, even during old age. Haemoglobin is an element found in the blood (red blood cells) which is responsible for transporting oxygen and nutrients to the cells and tissues to provide them with energy. Low haemoglobin level could make one weak as a result of ‘hungry cells/tissues’ or ‘cells/tissues without energy.’ However, regular blood donation activates the erythropoietic site (blood production site) to the extent that even in your old age, the haemoglobin tends to be high enough to make one more energetic. Be a regular donor now and remain strong in your old age.
Blood Donation and Stroke Prevention
Blood donation could prevent stroke. Stroke occurs when a blood vessel is damaged or blocked (by blood clots/emboli/thrombus). Due to the size of the diameter of the needle and tube, these blood clots which could block blood vessels to prevent blood flow to vital parts of the body like the brain will be removed to ensure easy flow of blood. This in effect could reduce one’s chances of stroke.
Being a regular donor gives one easy and faster assess in times of need and shortage. Voluntary donors are registered by the blood bank. In times of blood shortage, “customers” in need of blood are given first-hand priority. The “non-customers” in need of blood would have to donate first before being given any blood. Unfortunately, the worst would have happened before any donation would have been completed.
The ultimate goal is to save lives. Blood, when donated, is given to accident victims, pregnant women and children who may need it to survive.
Donate blood to save a soul from death.
Finally, let’s be informed that it is the responsibility of each and every citizen to walk voluntarily to the blood bank to donate after every 4 months. As responsible citizens, let’s help fill our blood banks. Together we can.
Write up by:
Evans Owusu Frempong
(Medical Laboratory Scientist)