By Manavi Nag,

In India alone 5 crore units of blood are needed every year out of which only 2.5 crore are there.

In India alone 5 crore units of blood are needed every year out of which only 2.5 crore are there. That’s nearly half of the blood that is needed. Blood donations is a very common thing all over the world. Karl Landsteiner was the scientist who discovered the blood groups (A,B and O). As a way to honour his work we have World Health Day (WHO). It is also a great time to generate awareness about blood donation. Who’s World Blood Donation Day which falls on June 14th 2018. Every 2 seconds someone in India is in aid of a blood donation.There are 4 blood groups A,B,AB and O. There is also Rh factor. Rh factor (Rhesus Factor) is an inherited protein that determines whether you have protein in you’re blood. If your body has Rh factor it means that it has protein, if it doesn’t then it lacks protein. If you’re RH factor is present you have a positive blood group and vice versa. You’re body also produces something called antibodies. Antibodies act as guards. If any antigen, which is an unknown substance, is in you’re body it will fight it aggressively. In addition to this blood is split up into 3 layers. At the bottom lies the RBC or Red Blood Cells that make up 45% of the blood. Above that lies the buffy coat which produces platelets. Platelets are the thing that cover up you’re cut to stop the bleeding. The buffy coat is approximately 1% of you’re blood. And above all of this lies the plasma which is 55% of you’re blood. Also there is blood compatibility. Which blood group can go with what. Type O- blood can donate to all blood groups. Type O+ can donate to all positive or Rh positive blood groups. Type A- can donate to all except both types of O and both types of both types of B. Type A+ can donate to to Type A+ and type AB+. Type Bcan donate to all except both A and both O. B+ can only donate to Ab+ and B+. Type AB- can only donate to both AB. And Type AB- can only donate to itself. (Refer below to the table to see a visual representation and who can receive from who).

There are many benefits of blood donations on the donor and the recipient. The donor can burn upto 650 calories with one pint of donation, their body will form new blood cells which is very healthy and reduce the risk of cardiac diseases and cancer. A blood donation is the process of blood being transferred from one person (the donor) into the recipient’s system. This is because the donor has a compatible blood group that is able to be transferred into the recipient’s body. People primarily need blood transfusions if they have undergone a major surgery and there is a loss of blood in their bodies. Hence they need to make up for the lost blood. People also require blood if they have experienced some sort of trauma like a car accident or a natural disaster because of the shortage of blood in his or her system and people suffering from diseases like anemia, leukemia or kidney disease will also be in desperate need of blood. So how does blood transfusions and donations work? Well it’s a short procedure but is extremely rewarding.

However there are many precautions and eligibility criterias that have to be met in order to donate blood. Routinely prior to the transfusion you will have to fill in your complete medical history a mini physical checkup will be done. After this comes the pivotal part of the donation. The donor’s arm is cleaned with an alcohol prep pad. After this the teams of doctors will insert a clean, new needle into you’re veins. This needle is attached to a tube and a blood bag. The needle will stay in you’re blood until the blood bag is full. This usually takes about 8-10 minutes however another vital part of you’re blood like the plasma or platelets it could take 2 hours. Succeeding this the doctor will take out the needle and dab some cotton on the area of injection and then place a bandage over it. After this you will be encouraged to eat and drink something as you need to bring you’re blood levels high again. Now although this is a noble thing to do there are a lot of requirements that need to be met in order for you to actually be allowed to to donate blood. You should be a fit and healthy person with no transmittable diseases whatsoever. In India you must be between 18 and 60 to donate blood and be a minimum of around 50 kg. The donor’s hemoglobin level should be a minimum of 12.5%. Hemoglobin is a red protein which moves the oxygen in the blood of the vertebrates. There must be a 3 month interval in between each blood donation and one’s pulse rate should be around 50-100mm without any regularities. Body temperature should be normal and oral temperature should be no more than 37.5 celsius. Non eligibilities include the donor should not suffer from any cardiac arrest, hypertension, kidney alignments, epilepsy or diabetes. Woman with a miscarriage should also only donate after 6 months. If the donor has consumed alcohol in the last 24 hrs. There are also many other cautions that should be taken before donating blood. By donating blood you are able to save someone’s life. When it does come to donating blood however there seems to be a mental block that hinders people from donating. A market research done by a college student shows that reasons for not donating blood includes 22% have a lack of motivation, 22% are not physically fit and 10% of people not having time amongst many others. So donate blood to help people all around the world because you can initiate a change. So what are you waiting for?

Manavi Nag is a the co-head and of the Ascent. She is in the 9th Grade and strives to use her voice for change. She likes spreading awareness and opinions through her articles to her community and the world. She enjoys writing articles, dancing and travelling. Manavi is extremely passionate about the Ascent and wants to use her voice for change in the world, as a teenage journalist living in the 21st century.