A single donation can save three lives. One blood donation provides different blood components that can help up to three different people. Blood banking refers to the process of collecting, separating, and storing blood. Blood banks collect blood and separate it into its various components so they can be used most effectively according to the needs of the patient. The donor usually gives one pint of whole blood. The blood is tested for blood type and infectious disease (HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Syphilis), and then the blood is separated into its components red blood cells, plasma and platelets. The stock blood is then crossmatched with patients blood before transfusion.
Blood donation is safe. New, disposable equipment is used for each donor, so there’s no risk of contracting a bloodborne infection by donating blood. Within 24 hours of a blood donation, your body replaces the lost fluids. And after several weeks, your body replaces the lost red blood cells. Health benefits of donating blood include good health and reduced risk of cancer and hemochromatosis. It helps in reducing the risk of damage to liver and pancreas. Donating blood may help in improving cardiovascular health and reducing obesity.
You are eligible to donate blood if:
- you are in good health
- weight at least 45 kg
- Donation age 17+ and add ( Please note, your eligibility will also be confirmed by a Canadian Blood Services representative at the time of your appointment. Learn more at https://www.blood.ca/en/blood/am-i-eligible-donate-blood )
You are not eligible to donate blood if you:
- have ever used self-injected drugs (non-prescription)
You need to prepare your body. It is important to eat iron-rich foods such as red meats, fish, beans and spinach, drink plenty of water the two days prior to donating, get a good sleep and eat a healthy meal two hours before your donation.
Blood is a body fluid in humans and other animals that has many different functions, including:
- transporting oxygen and nutrients to the lungs and tissues
- forming blood clots to prevent excess blood loss
- carrying cells and antibodies that fight infection
- bringing waste products to the kidneys and liver, which filter and clean the blood
- regulating body temperature
There are four blood groups: A, B, AB and O and two types of RH factor: Positive and Negative.
Blood Donors Basics
- What is Blood?
Blood is essential to life. Blood circulates through our body and delivers essential substances like oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells. It also transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells. There is no substitute for blood. It cannot be made or manufactured. Generous blood donors are the only source of blood for patients in need of a blood transfusion.
- Why Give Blood?
Giving blood saves lives. The blood you give is a lifeline in an emergency and for people who need long-term treatments. Many people would not be alive today if donors had not generously given their blood.
- Can I Donate Blood?
Many potential blood donors believe that they can’t donate blood due to medical or other reasons. But whether you’ve heard or read information about donation restrictions or been turned down in the past, please do not self defer. You may be able to say “Yes I can!” and share your power through blood donation. Sometimes it is not possible for you to give blood, or we may have to ask you to wait for a period of time before donating again. To save donors from wasted time and wasted journeys, this page addresses some of the most common questions about eligibility.If you have an existing medical condition, or have a question about your eligibility to give blood, you should check the health & eligibility.
- Can I donate if I feel ill, have a chesty cough, a cold sore or am coming down with a cold?
If you are feeling under the weather with any of these things it’s best that you wait until you feel better before you give blood.
- Can I donate blood if I am taking antibiotics or have an infection?
You must be completely healed or recovered from any infection for at least 14 days before you give blood. If you are taking antibiotics you may need to wait a period of time after your last tablet.
- Can I donate if I am pregnant, or have recently been pregnant?
During your pregnancy, you are not able to give blood. If you had a blood transfusion during your pregnancy or at delivery then you will not be able to become a blood donor.
- Can I give blood if I am receiving medical treatment or taking medication?
We’ll need to check that you can donate. Whether or not you can donate will depend on the medication you are receiving as well as the condition for which you are being treated.
- Can I give blood if I have been to the dentist or received dental treatment?
Simple fillings and check ups are usually ok after 24 hours. However, some treatments will mean a longer deferral.
- Can I give blood if I have a heart condition?
We will need to have more information to know if you can give blood. It will depend on your specific heart condition.
- Can I donate if I have got a tattoo or a body piercing?
If you had this done recently you may have to wait before you can donate again.
- Can I give blood if I have had a transfusion, or received blood products or an organ transplant?
We may need more information about your transfusion. If you have received tissue or an organ, it may be possible to donate blood.
- Can I donate blood if I have high or low blood pressure?
It is possible to donate blood if you have high blood pressure or low blood pressure. However, there are some restrictions.
- Can I give blood if I have had acupuncture?
Can I give blood if I have had acupuncture? It may be possible to give blood after acupuncture. We will need to know the reason you had the treatment and the certification of the acupuncturist.