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What Are the Disadvantages of Donating Blood, donating blood side effects.#Donating #blood #side #effects


The Disadvantages of Donating Blood

There’s no doubt that donating blood can do a lot of good: Donating just one pint of blood can save more than one person’s life, according to the American Red Cross. About 36,000 pints of blood are needed every day in the United States, and 6.8 million people donate a year. But blood donation isn’t without its disadvantages. Each donor is given a mini physical examination, but there are still some minor side effects that could occur. These include:

  • bruising
  • continued bleeding
  • dizziness, lightheadedness, and nausea
  • pain
  • physical weakness

Donating blood is a safe process, but there are some things you should know before you donate. Here’s a closer look at the disadvantages to consider before donating blood.

Bruising

When you donate blood, you sit or lie on a reclining chair with your arm extended on an armrest. A healthcare provider will place a blood pressure cuff or tourniquet around your upper arm to fill your veins with more blood. After cleaning the skin on the inside of one of your elbows, the provider will insert a sterile needle attached to a thin plastic tube and blood bag into one of your veins. The needle is kept in your arm for about 10 minutes, or for the duration of your blood donation.

When a needle pricks a vein, there’s always a chance that some bruising will occur around the site where the needle was inserted. For that reason, bruising is common among blood donors.

Bruises range in color from yellow to blue to purple. Mild to moderate bruising is usually not something to worry about. If you experience bruising, apply a cold pack to the bruised area every few hours for several minutes during the first 24 hours after you donate blood.

Continued bleeding

When a blood donation is complete, a healthcare provider will remove the needle from your vein and place a bandage on the needle site. They will wrap your arm with a dressing. The bandage and pressure of the dressing is meant to stop the blood flow out of your vein. Your nurse will instruct you to keep your bandage and dressing in place for at least four to five hours to ensure bleeding is stopped.

Sometimes bleeding still occurs after the bandage and dressing are kept in place for several hours. In this case, it’s important to place pressure on the needle site and keep your arm raised above your heart for three to five minutes. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after that time, you should contact your doctor.


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Donating Blood, donating blood side effects.#Donating #blood #side #effects


Donating Blood

According to the American Red Cross, there’s a 97% chance that someone you know will need a blood transfusion. Blood donors especially donors with certain blood types are always in demand.

Donating blood side effects

To donate blood, the American Red Cross requires that people be at least 17 years old and weigh more than 110 pounds. (In some states, the age is 16 with a parent’s permission.)

Donors must be in good health and will be screened for certain medical conditions, such as anemia. Donors who meet these requirements can give blood every 56 days.

Before Donating

Blood donation starts before you walk in the door of the blood bank. Eat a normal breakfast or lunch this is not a good time to skip meals but stay away from fatty foods like burgers or fries. And be sure to drink plenty of water, milk, or other liquids.

Before donating, you’ll need to answer some questions about your medical history, and have your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and blood count checked. The medical history includes questions that help blood bank staff decide if a person is healthy enough to donate blood. They’ll probably ask about any recent travel, infections, medicines, and health problems.

Donated blood gets tested for viruses, including HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis, and West Nile virus. If any of these things are found, the blood is destroyed. Because blood can be infected with bacteria as well as viruses, certain blood components are tested for contamination with bacteria as well.

What’s It Like to Donate Blood?

The actual donation takes about 10 minutes. It’s a lot like getting a blood test. After you’re done, you’ll want to sit and rest for a few minutes, drink lots of fluids, and take it easy the rest of the day (no hard workouts!). Your local blood bank or Red Cross can give you more information on what it’s like and what you need to do.

Are There Any Risks?

A person can’t get an infection or disease from giving blood. The needles and other equipment used are sterile and they’re used only on one person and then thrown away. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates U.S. blood banks. All blood centers must pass regular inspections in order to keep operating.

Sometimes people who donate blood notice a few minor side effects like nausea, lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting, but these symptoms usually go away quickly.

The donor’s body usually replaces the liquid part of blood (plasma) within 72 hours after giving blood. It generally takes about 4 8 weeks to regenerate the red blood cells lost during a blood donation. An iron-fortified diet plus daily iron tablets can help rebuild a donor’s red blood supply.

The Red Cross estimates that 15% of all blood donors in the United States are high school or college students an impressive number when you consider you have to be 16 or 17 to donate blood. If you are eligible and want to donate blood, contact your local blood bank or the American Red Cross for more information on what’s involved. You could save someone’s life.


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Donating Plasma: What Are the Side Effects, donating blood side effects.#Donating #blood #side #effects


Side Effects of Donating Plasma

Donating blood side effects

Is donating plasma safe?

Donating plasma is mostly a safe process, but side effects do exist. Plasma is a component of your blood. To donate plasma, blood is drawn from your body and processed through a machine that separates and collects the plasma. The other components of the blood, such as the red blood cells, are returned to your body mixed with saline to replace the withdrawn plasma.

Donating plasma can cause common but usually minor side effects like dehydration and fatigue. Serious side effects may occur as well, although these are rare.

Side effects of donating plasma

Dehydration

Plasma contains a lot of water. For that reason, some people experience dehydration after donating plasma. Dehydration after donating plasma is usually not severe.

Dizziness, fainting, and lightheadedness

Plasma is rich in nutrients and salts. These are important in keeping the body alert and functioning properly. Losing some of these substances through plasma donation can lead to an electrolyte imbalance. This can result in dizziness, fainting, and lightheadedness.

Fatigue

Fatigue can occur if the body’s levels of nutrients and salts are low. Fatigue after plasma donation is another common side effect, but it’s usually mild.

Bruising and discomfort

Bruising and discomfort are among the milder and more common side effects of plasma donation.

When the needle pierces the skin, you may experience a pinching feeling. As blood is drawn from your vein, into the tubing, and then into the machine collecting your plasma, you may experience a dull, pulling sensation at the needle site.

Bruises form when blood flows into soft tissues. This can happen when a needle punctures a vein and a small amount of blood leaks out. For most people, bruises go away in days or weeks. But if you have a bleeding disorder, it may take more time.

Infection

Any time a needle is used to pierce the skin, there is always a small risk of infection. Punctured skin tissue allows bacteria from outside the body to get in. The needle may carry bacteria not only beneath the skin’s surface, but into a vein. This can lead to an infection at the injection site and surrounding body tissue or in the blood.

Signs of an infection include skin that feels warm and tender and looks red and swollen, with pain at and around the injection site. If you notice signs of infection, it’s important to see a doctor right away to prevent complications.

Citrate reaction

A citrate reaction is a very serious but very rare side effect of plasma donation.

During a plasma donation, the technician will infuse a substance known as an anticoagulant into the blood collected in the plasma-separating machine before the blood is returned to your body. This anticoagulant is meant to prevent blood clots from forming. The plasma in the machine retains most of the citrate, but some will also enter your bloodstream.

In the body, citrate binds together a small amount of calcium molecules for a short amount of time. Because this effect is small and temporary, most people experience no side effects from citrate. However, a small number of people who donate plasma experience what’s called a “citrate reaction” from the temporary loss of calcium.

Signs of a citrate reaction include:

  • numbness or tingling, especially in the lips, fingers, and toes
  • feeling vibrations throughout the body
  • experiencing a metallic taste
  • chills
  • shivering
  • lightheadedness
  • muscle twitching
  • a rapid or slow pulse
  • shortness of breath

If these symptoms are left untreated, they may become more severe. Severe symptoms include:

Arterial puncture

An arterial puncture is a very rare side effect that can occur any time a needle is used to tap into a vein. During a plasma donation, a technician starts by inserting a needle into a vein in your arm. An arterial puncture can happen when the technician accidentally misses your vein and instead hits an artery. Because arteries have higher blood pressure inside them than veins, a puncture can lead to bleeding into the arm tissues around the puncture site.

The signs of an arterial puncture include a faster blood flow and lighter-than-usual color of blood running through the tubes to the machine collecting your plasma. The needle and tubes used may appear to move or pulsate with the increased blood flow. You may experience weak pain near your elbow.

If the needle accidentally hits an artery, the technician will remove it immediately and hold pressure on the needle insertion site for at least 10 minutes. Continued bleeding from the needle insertion site after holding pressure is rare, but requires emergency medical attention.


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Side Effects of Donating Blood – What are Effects of Donating Blood, donating blood

What are the Side Effects of Donating Blood

Donating blood side effectsThe feeling of slight dizziness or lightheadedness is a common side effect of donating blood. A healthy donor is capable of donating about 1 pint of blood by volume without any serious side effects following blood donation. This amount of blood loss can be replenished within a day’s time. The side effects of donating blood are mostly temporary in nature, which subside on their own within a day or two. Blood donation after effects is most prevalent in teens; which accounts for about 11% of teens on a regular basis. But adults rarely suffer from any such kind of complications. But if these persists for longer period, immediate medical consultation is mandatory. The various side effects observed after a blood donation are as follows:

  • Nausea and convulsions
  • Fainting and falling
  • Sweating and chills
  • Stress
  • Stiffness at joints
  • Tingling sensation at nose area or lips

Other minor side effects like –

  • Bruising or bleeding from the injected needle
  • Mild anemia

are common to occur. Severe complications may include –

  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Chest pains
  • Heart attack or stroke
Blood Donation Types and Side Effects

Besides the common whole blood transfusion, other types of blood donations also exist. These are called Automated Blood Collection (ABC) processes. These include

  • In this process, only the platelets are separated from the donor blood and collected. The remaining blood is sent back into the donor body.
  • Apheresis takes about 1.5-2 hours for completion.
  • Since most of fluid is poured back into the body, sp side effects of blood donation are a few.

Alyx Blood Donation

  • Minimal after effects are experienced after a double red blood cell donation.
  • Alyx blood donation is also called double red blood cell donation.
  • The donor donates 2 units of blood at a time.
  • Only the RBCs are separated from the donor blood and remaining blood is transferred back to the donor body.
  • Smaller sized syringe used in the process along with the minimal fluid replacement from the body makes it a very safe process.
  • Alyx blood donation takes about 25 mins for completion.
  • The name is self-explanatory, suggesting the transplantation of the plasma from a donor.
  • Only blood plasma is collected from the donor body and is then collected. Rest of the blood components are transfused back into the donor’s body.
  • The side effects observed after plasmapheresis is similar to the transfusion of whole blood. Since the fluid part is removed from the body.

The side effects of a blood donation are kept at minimal level by taking utmost care and precautions before and after the donation session. Taking ample fluids, eating well, a good night’s sleep are a must before and after a blood donation episode.


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Donating Plasma: What Are the Side Effects, side effects of blood donation.#Side #effects #of

Side Effects of Donating Plasma

Side effects of blood donation

Is donating plasma safe?

Donating plasma is mostly a safe process, but side effects do exist. Plasma is a component of your blood. To donate plasma, blood is drawn from your body and processed through a machine that separates and collects the plasma. The other components of the blood, such as the red blood cells, are returned to your body mixed with saline to replace the withdrawn plasma.

Donating plasma can cause common but usually minor side effects like dehydration and fatigue. Serious side effects may occur as well, although these are rare.

Side effects of donating plasma

Dehydration

Plasma contains a lot of water. For that reason, some people experience dehydration after donating plasma. Dehydration after donating plasma is usually not severe.

Dizziness, fainting, and lightheadedness

Plasma is rich in nutrients and salts. These are important in keeping the body alert and functioning properly. Losing some of these substances through plasma donation can lead to an electrolyte imbalance. This can result in dizziness, fainting, and lightheadedness.

Fatigue

Fatigue can occur if the body’s levels of nutrients and salts are low. Fatigue after plasma donation is another common side effect, but it’s usually mild.

Bruising and discomfort

Bruising and discomfort are among the milder and more common side effects of plasma donation.

When the needle pierces the skin, you may experience a pinching feeling. As blood is drawn from your vein, into the tubing, and then into the machine collecting your plasma, you may experience a dull, pulling sensation at the needle site.

Bruises form when blood flows into soft tissues. This can happen when a needle punctures a vein and a small amount of blood leaks out. For most people, bruises go away in days or weeks. But if you have a bleeding disorder, it may take more time.

Infection

Any time a needle is used to pierce the skin, there is always a small risk of infection. Punctured skin tissue allows bacteria from outside the body to get in. The needle may carry bacteria not only beneath the skin’s surface, but into a vein. This can lead to an infection at the injection site and surrounding body tissue or in the blood.

Signs of an infection include skin that feels warm and tender and looks red and swollen, with pain at and around the injection site. If you notice signs of infection, it’s important to see a doctor right away to prevent complications.

Citrate reaction

A citrate reaction is a very serious but very rare side effect of plasma donation.

During a plasma donation, the technician will infuse a substance known as an anticoagulant into the blood collected in the plasma-separating machine before the blood is returned to your body. This anticoagulant is meant to prevent blood clots from forming. The plasma in the machine retains most of the citrate, but some will also enter your bloodstream.

In the body, citrate binds together a small amount of calcium molecules for a short amount of time. Because this effect is small and temporary, most people experience no side effects from citrate. However, a small number of people who donate plasma experience what’s called a “citrate reaction” from the temporary loss of calcium.

Signs of a citrate reaction include:

  • numbness or tingling, especially in the lips, fingers, and toes
  • feeling vibrations throughout the body
  • experiencing a metallic taste
  • chills
  • shivering
  • lightheadedness
  • muscle twitching
  • a rapid or slow pulse
  • shortness of breath

If these symptoms are left untreated, they may become more severe. Severe symptoms include:

Arterial puncture

An arterial puncture is a very rare side effect that can occur any time a needle is used to tap into a vein. During a plasma donation, a technician starts by inserting a needle into a vein in your arm. An arterial puncture can happen when the technician accidentally misses your vein and instead hits an artery. Because arteries have higher blood pressure inside them than veins, a puncture can lead to bleeding into the arm tissues around the puncture site.

The signs of an arterial puncture include a faster blood flow and lighter-than-usual color of blood running through the tubes to the machine collecting your plasma. The needle and tubes used may appear to move or pulsate with the increased blood flow. You may experience weak pain near your elbow.

If the needle accidentally hits an artery, the technician will remove it immediately and hold pressure on the needle insertion site for at least 10 minutes. Continued bleeding from the needle insertion site after holding pressure is rare, but requires emergency medical attention.


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Red Cross, side effects of blood donation.#Side #effects #of #blood #donation


side effects of blood donation

Side effects of blood donation

Side effects of blood donation

Side effects of blood donation

Side effects of blood donation

Often patients who have received a blood transfusion experience no complications or problems. However, minor to severe problems do occasional occur. Some of the most common complications include:

Allergic Reactions

Some people have allergic reactions to blood received during a transfusion, even when given the right blood type. In these cases symptoms include hives and itching. Like most allergic reactions, this can be treated with antihistamines. However, if the reaction becomes serious, a doctor should be consulted.

Fever

Developing a fever after a transfusion is not serious. A fever is your body s response to the white blood cells in the transfused blood. However, it can be a sign of a serious reaction if the patient is also experiencing nausea or chest pain. Patients should consult their doctors if other symptoms or side effects are present.

Acute Immune Hemolytic Reaction

An acute immune hemolytic reaction is a very serious, but rare, reaction caused by a patient s body attacking the transfused red blood cells. The attack triggers a release of a substance that damages the kidneys. This is often the case when the donor blood is not a proper match with the patient s blood type. Symptoms include nausea, fever, chills, chest and lower back pain, and dark urine.

Blood-borne Infections

All donated blood is screened and tested for potential viruses, bacteria, and parasites. However, occasionally these agents can still infect a transfusion patient after the procedure.

The risk of catching a virus or any other blood-borne infection from a blood transfusion is very low.

  • HIV. All donated blood is thoroughly tested for HIV. There is a 1 in 2 million chance that donated blood will not only carry HIV but also infect a transfusion recipient.
  • Hepatitis B and C. The odds of catching hepatitis B from donated blood is about 1 in 300,000. While the risk with hepatitis C is 1 in 1.5 million.
  • West Nile Virus. The risk of catching West Nile Virus from a blood transfusion is approximately 1 in 350,000.

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Donating Plasma: What Are the Side Effects, blood donation side effects.#Blood #donation #side #effects


Side Effects of Donating Plasma

Blood donation side effects

Is donating plasma safe?

Donating plasma is mostly a safe process, but side effects do exist. Plasma is a component of your blood. To donate plasma, blood is drawn from your body and processed through a machine that separates and collects the plasma. The other components of the blood, such as the red blood cells, are returned to your body mixed with saline to replace the withdrawn plasma.

Donating plasma can cause common but usually minor side effects like dehydration and fatigue. Serious side effects may occur as well, although these are rare.

Side effects of donating plasma

Dehydration

Plasma contains a lot of water. For that reason, some people experience dehydration after donating plasma. Dehydration after donating plasma is usually not severe.

Dizziness, fainting, and lightheadedness

Plasma is rich in nutrients and salts. These are important in keeping the body alert and functioning properly. Losing some of these substances through plasma donation can lead to an electrolyte imbalance. This can result in dizziness, fainting, and lightheadedness.

Fatigue

Fatigue can occur if the body’s levels of nutrients and salts are low. Fatigue after plasma donation is another common side effect, but it’s usually mild.

Bruising and discomfort

Bruising and discomfort are among the milder and more common side effects of plasma donation.

When the needle pierces the skin, you may experience a pinching feeling. As blood is drawn from your vein, into the tubing, and then into the machine collecting your plasma, you may experience a dull, pulling sensation at the needle site.

Bruises form when blood flows into soft tissues. This can happen when a needle punctures a vein and a small amount of blood leaks out. For most people, bruises go away in days or weeks. But if you have a bleeding disorder, it may take more time.

Infection

Any time a needle is used to pierce the skin, there is always a small risk of infection. Punctured skin tissue allows bacteria from outside the body to get in. The needle may carry bacteria not only beneath the skin’s surface, but into a vein. This can lead to an infection at the injection site and surrounding body tissue or in the blood.

Signs of an infection include skin that feels warm and tender and looks red and swollen, with pain at and around the injection site. If you notice signs of infection, it’s important to see a doctor right away to prevent complications.

Citrate reaction

A citrate reaction is a very serious but very rare side effect of plasma donation.

During a plasma donation, the technician will infuse a substance known as an anticoagulant into the blood collected in the plasma-separating machine before the blood is returned to your body. This anticoagulant is meant to prevent blood clots from forming. The plasma in the machine retains most of the citrate, but some will also enter your bloodstream.

In the body, citrate binds together a small amount of calcium molecules for a short amount of time. Because this effect is small and temporary, most people experience no side effects from citrate. However, a small number of people who donate plasma experience what’s called a “citrate reaction” from the temporary loss of calcium.

Signs of a citrate reaction include:

  • numbness or tingling, especially in the lips, fingers, and toes
  • feeling vibrations throughout the body
  • experiencing a metallic taste
  • chills
  • shivering
  • lightheadedness
  • muscle twitching
  • a rapid or slow pulse
  • shortness of breath

If these symptoms are left untreated, they may become more severe. Severe symptoms include:

Arterial puncture

An arterial puncture is a very rare side effect that can occur any time a needle is used to tap into a vein. During a plasma donation, a technician starts by inserting a needle into a vein in your arm. An arterial puncture can happen when the technician accidentally misses your vein and instead hits an artery. Because arteries have higher blood pressure inside them than veins, a puncture can lead to bleeding into the arm tissues around the puncture site.

The signs of an arterial puncture include a faster blood flow and lighter-than-usual color of blood running through the tubes to the machine collecting your plasma. The needle and tubes used may appear to move or pulsate with the increased blood flow. You may experience weak pain near your elbow.

If the needle accidentally hits an artery, the technician will remove it immediately and hold pressure on the needle insertion site for at least 10 minutes. Continued bleeding from the needle insertion site after holding pressure is rare, but requires emergency medical attention.


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What Are the Side Effects of Giving Blood, blood donation side effects.#Blood #donation #side

What Are the Side Effects of Giving Blood?

Blood donation side effects

Donating blood is a generous life-saving gift which is tolerated very well by most donors. But some donors, especially teen donors, may experience side effects from donating blood. Most effects are minor but less than 1 percent of blood donors may experience more severe side effects.

Local Bruising

Only 1.2 percent of 5,000 donors experienced a reaction from blood donation, according to Doctors Antonio Crocco and Domenico D’Elia in their article, “Adverse reactions during voluntary donation of blood and/or blood components. A statistical-epidemiological study” published in the July 2007 journal Blood Transfusion. Of the 1 percent of donors who experienced a negative reaction, the vast majority of reactions they had were classified as minor. Minor side effects were typically localized skin effects from improper insertion of the needle. If the needle is inserted so that it slips through the vein, it can cause local bleeding under the skin resulting in a bruise (also called a hematoma). Usually, a hematoma will slowly resolve over a few days, as the pooled blood breaks down and is removed from the area.

Feeling Faint

Other mild reactions described by Doctors Crocco and D’Elia included systemic reactions reported by donors including feelings of agitation or concern about donation. Some donors experienced other systemic side effects such a sweating, becoming pale, feeling cold, weak or nauseous. Usually, these symptoms subsided soon after donation. Rarely, these systemic systems progressed to feeling light-headed. According to the American Red Cross, feeling faint is a minor side effect which generally passes in a few minutes after donation. Infrequently, these pre-fainting symptoms can progress to actual loss of consciousness.

Fainting Injuries

In their study, Doctors Crococ and D’Elia reported that only four blood donors out of nearly 5,000 studied had side effects classified as severe. These four donors experienced reactions including vomiting, losing consciousness temporarily due to low oxygen levels to the brain and brief muscle spasms.

Indirect injuries from losing consciousness and falling caused more serious physical harm than the actual donation, according to Dr. Anne F. Eder and colleagues who reported an increased risk of fainting in teen donors compared to older donors in their article “Adverse Reactions to Allogeneic Whole Blood Donation by 16- and 17-Year-Olds” reported in the May 21, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Their study analyzed over 150,000 donations by teenagers across nine American Red Cross Donation Centers. Teen donations account for between 4 and 11 percent of all American Red Cross donations. About four donors per 100 had side effects, but 10 percent of these side effects were experienced in the 16 and 17 year olds, compared to only 3 percent in donors aged 20 or older. The study could not explain this age-related difference in experiencing side effects from blood donation.


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Blood Transfusion Risks – Complications, Side Effects – Reactions, American Red Cross, blood donation

Risks Complications

Blood donation side effects

Often patients who have received a blood transfusion experience no complications or problems. However, minor to severe problems do occasional occur. Some of the most common complications include:

Allergic Reactions

Some people have allergic reactions to blood received during a transfusion, even when given the right blood type. In these cases symptoms include hives and itching. Like most allergic reactions, this can be treated with antihistamines. However, if the reaction becomes serious, a doctor should be consulted.

Fever

Developing a fever after a transfusion is not serious. A fever is your body s response to the white blood cells in the transfused blood. However, it can be a sign of a serious reaction if the patient is also experiencing nausea or chest pain. Patients should consult their doctors if other symptoms or side effects are present.

Acute Immune Hemolytic Reaction

An acute immune hemolytic reaction is a very serious, but rare, reaction caused by a patient s body attacking the transfused red blood cells. The attack triggers a release of a substance that damages the kidneys. This is often the case when the donor blood is not a proper match with the patient s blood type. Symptoms include nausea, fever, chills, chest and lower back pain, and dark urine.

Blood-borne Infections

All donated blood is screened and tested for potential viruses, bacteria, and parasites. However, occasionally these agents can still infect a transfusion patient after the procedure.

The risk of catching a virus or any other blood-borne infection from a blood transfusion is very low.

  • HIV. All donated blood is thoroughly tested for HIV. There is a 1 in 2 million chance that donated blood will not only carry HIV but also infect a transfusion recipient.
  • Hepatitis B and C. The odds of catching hepatitis B from donated blood is about 1 in 300,000. While the risk with hepatitis C is 1 in 1.5 million.
  • West Nile Virus. The risk of catching West Nile Virus from a blood transfusion is approximately 1 in 350,000.

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Donating Blood, side effects of donating blood.#Side #effects #of #donating #blood


Donating Blood

According to the American Red Cross, there’s a 97% chance that someone you know will need a blood transfusion. Blood donors especially donors with certain blood types are always in demand.

Side effects of donating blood

To donate blood, the American Red Cross requires that people be at least 17 years old and weigh more than 110 pounds. (In some states, the age is 16 with a parent’s permission.)

Donors must be in good health and will be screened for certain medical conditions, such as anemia. Donors who meet these requirements can give blood every 56 days.

Before Donating

Blood donation starts before you walk in the door of the blood bank. Eat a normal breakfast or lunch this is not a good time to skip meals but stay away from fatty foods like burgers or fries. And be sure to drink plenty of water, milk, or other liquids.

Before donating, you’ll need to answer some questions about your medical history, and have your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and blood count checked. The medical history includes questions that help blood bank staff decide if a person is healthy enough to donate blood. They’ll probably ask about any recent travel, infections, medicines, and health problems.

Donated blood gets tested for viruses, including HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis, and West Nile virus. If any of these things are found, the blood is destroyed. Because blood can be infected with bacteria as well as viruses, certain blood components are tested for contamination with bacteria as well.

What’s It Like to Donate Blood?

The actual donation takes about 10 minutes. It’s a lot like getting a blood test. After you’re done, you’ll want to sit and rest for a few minutes, drink lots of fluids, and take it easy the rest of the day (no hard workouts!). Your local blood bank or Red Cross can give you more information on what it’s like and what you need to do.

Are There Any Risks?

A person can’t get an infection or disease from giving blood. The needles and other equipment used are sterile and they’re used only on one person and then thrown away. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates U.S. blood banks. All blood centers must pass regular inspections in order to keep operating.

Sometimes people who donate blood notice a few minor side effects like nausea, lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting, but these symptoms usually go away quickly.

The donor’s body usually replaces the liquid part of blood (plasma) within 72 hours after giving blood. It generally takes about 4 8 weeks to regenerate the red blood cells lost during a blood donation. An iron-fortified diet plus daily iron tablets can help rebuild a donor’s red blood supply.

The Red Cross estimates that 15% of all blood donors in the United States are high school or college students an impressive number when you consider you have to be 16 or 17 to donate blood. If you are eligible and want to donate blood, contact your local blood bank or the American Red Cross for more information on what’s involved. You could save someone’s life.


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