Blood Information
There is no substitute for blood or you may say blood is the only substitute for blood. A human body has about 7% of blood so a person weighing 80 Kg should have about 12 pint (bottles) of blood. (80x7%x2.2=12.32 pint.) So an adult has on the average 10 to 12 pints of blood. Normally doctor would recommend donation of one pint (bottle) of blood at one time. This one pint can be separated into several components such as red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitate. Thus it can help save the lives of several people. Red blood cells live about 120 days in the circulatory system and then they are excreted out of body system. Blood volume would be recuperated in 24 hours and would mature in two months. Anyone who is in good health, at least 17 years old, and weighs at least 110 pounds may donate blood every 56 days. To be on the safer side most doctors advise blood donation once every three months. Blood donation starts the process of generation of RED BLOOD CELLS and normally the donor feels much better in the coming days.

Blood donation occurs in four steps

a. Medical history is taken by the doctors.
b. Quick physical check including blood pressure is performed.
c. Donation of blood actually takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
d. Juice and snacks are served to balance the loss of blood

The entire process, from when you walk in to the time you leave, takes about 30 minutes. Giving blood will not decrease your strength. After blood donation keep lying or sitting for about fifteen minutes. You must have eaten some food during the four hours prior to donation.

This collected blood consists of Red Blood Cells (RBCs), White Blood Cells (WBCs) and Platelets which are made in the body's bone marrow. Modern equipment can split blood into these three components and only required component is administered to the patient.
RBCs carry oxygen to the body's organs and tissues.
WBCs are your defence against infections.

Platelets help blood to clot and thus give leukemia and other cancer patients a chance to live.
Some anemic patients require blood transfusions to increase their iron levels. Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red blood cells, plasma, and platelets.

Plasma is a pale yellow mixture of water, proteins, and salts. Plasma is 90 percent water and constitutes 55 percent of blood volume. Plasma helps maintain blood pressure, carries blood cells, nutrients, enzymes, hormones, and supplies critical proteins for blood clotting and immunity. Plasma can be frozen and used for up to one year.

Platelets are small blood cells that help control bleeding. Cancer, transplant, trauma, and open-heart surgery patients require platelet transfusions to survive.

There are four main blood types: A, B, AB and O. Blood centers often run short of type O and B blood. Everybody has a particular blood type which is jointly inherited from their mother and their father. There are two major blood type systems – the ABO system and the Rhesus system (Rh factor) - the different combinations of which result in eight major blood types.
When a transfusion is required, it is preferable that patients receive blood of the same ABO and Rh(D) type. However, in an emergency, if the required blood type is unavailable, a patient may be given blood of a different, but compatible type.

Some people fear that there is limited blood in the body and it is unhealthy to give some away. The fact is that only 470ml of blood is taken during a donation session. There is enough blood in the body to donate it without experiencing any ill effects. The body makes new blood after donation. If you are healthy prior to donation, your recovery is complete in a day or two. It is advised to rest a while after donating. Drinking enough liquids replaces the lost fluid within a couple of hours. The body produces new cells faster after a donation. All the RBCs are replaced within 3 to 4 days and WBCs within 3 weeks.