Save lives, become a volunteer JHAH blood donor
On June 14, the world celebrates “World Blood Donor Day,” thanking blood donors for their selfless act and raising awareness of the importance of donating safe blood.
Somewhere in the world, every three seconds someone needs blood. To meet this need, nearly 120 million units of blood are donated every year.
Approximately 60% of the population is eligible to donate blood, yet less than 5% do.
Regular blood donations from healthy people are vital to ensure that safe blood is available to save lives when people need transfusions due to severe trauma from accidents, complex surgery, cancer treatment, or regular transfusions for conditions such as sickle cell disease. There is a constant need for blood donations because blood can only be stored for a limited time before use.
Be a hero by becoming a JHAH blood donor today. Read our expert advice on blood donation guidelines and how you can play a role in saving lives.
Who can donate?
Healthy people aged 17 and above, weighing at least 50 kilograms.
How does blood save lives?
Blood contains many lifesaving components. Within six hours of donation, blood can be processed into products required to treat a variety of medical conditions. Some of the products acquired from blood donations include:
• Red blood cells, which carry vital oxygen through the body. These are used for patients who have suffered blood loss due to trauma or surgery.
• Plasma, which is used mainly in the emergency treatment of shock or for severe burns.
• Platelets, which play an essential part in blood clotting. For instance, platelets are used to treat patients with severe hemorrhage or leukemia. Often, one single patient will need platelets from 10 or more donors within a short period. These cells have a lifespan of only five days. That is why blood bank stocks need to be constantly renewed.
• Cryoprecipitate, which contains the clotting substance absent in patients who suffer from hemophilia.
What are the benefits for donors?
• The satisfaction of knowing they are making a difference in the community by helping others.
• The knowledge and assurance that adequate supplies of blood are available for them, their family, and others.
• The benefits of checking blood pressure, hemoglobin, and pulse rate every time they donate blood.
Donating blood uses about 650 calories.
Why should I become a regular blood donor?
• One unit of blood can save three adult lives or up to six newborns.
• There is no substitute for human blood.
Is donating blood safe?
Donating blood is safe; there is no risk of contracting any disease through donating blood. Each donor receives his or her sterile blood bag and needle each time.
How much can I donate?
You can donate 450 milliliters, three to four times a year. Each of us has about five liters of blood in our body, which is continuously replenished.
What are some of the guidelines that I should follow?
• Eat well-balanced meals and increase your fluid intake to help restore blood volume after donating blood.
• Practice regular physical activity to strengthen the body and improve blood circulation.
• Avoid tobacco products as they do not help the body to formulate new blood.
• Reduce caffeine intake, as caffeine reduces iron absorption, and do not drink coffee or tea or cola with meals.
• If you wish to use supplements, it is advisable to speak to your doctor and to go for complete supplements that contain all nutrients, including iron.
• Do not drive for long distances after donating blood.
• If you experience dizziness during or after donation, inform the blood bank technician, keep your head lower than the donation chair, and drink an adequate amount of water (around two cups). It is important not to leave the donation chair by standing up too quickly.
Where can I donate?
Call the JHAH Blood Bank at the Dhahran Health Center at 870-6638 or 870-6770 during regular working hours, or you can register at JHAH.com. Scan the QR code to visit our blood donation webpage.
Did you know? There are dedicated blood donor parking spaces next to the JHAH Dhahran Day Surgery main entrance.
Save a life, sign-up today to become a #JHAHBloodDonor.