Have you ever wondered why people shy away from blood donation? Hmmn…I have o. I have heard many people give different reasons why they won’t donate blood. The other time, back on campus, there was a blood donation campaign. So, the organisers of the event had people come around from NBTS (National Blood Transfusion Service) and the publicity was quite good. It happened that I was with a friend when one of the student volunteers walked up to us on our way to class.
Volunteer: Hi Good afternoon. How are you guys doing?
Guys: We dey alrite
Volunteer (…trying to convince us): Please, we need you guys to donate blood. Blood donation is important..
Me (cuts in) : why exactly should we….
I had not completed my sentence when my guy interrupted me
My Guy: See, me I cannot come and donate blood. Shey you want my blood to reduce ni?
I just shock.
Me (in my mind): Did you do biology at all?
I shouldn’t have been surprised. Many people have very strange misconceptions as regards blood donation! I have heard people say things like,‘How can I donate, me sef I need blood. Can’t you see I’m slim.’ or ‘If I donate now, won’t I catch HIV.’
This one was ridiculous: ‘I’m a lady, I cannot donate blood.’
I couldn’t help it.
So, what really happens when you donate blood? Does your blood volume reduce? Can you contract a disease?
First, during blood donation, only 470 mls of blood is taken from your body, which is approximately one pint. Furthermore, your body has an amazing capacity to replace the blood you are given. For example, your body makes about 2 million new red blood cells every second, so it doesn’t take long to build up stores of them again. As for the white blood cells and platelets, they are back to the normal levels in a matter of days. Another point to note is that blood volume makes up approximately 8% of your body weight. Also about 55% of blood is comprised of plasma, of which 90% is water. So, although you donate less than a pint of blood at a time, almost half of this is water. That’s why it is important for you to drink plenty of water before you donate and immediately after you’ve donated.
Also, you can’t contract any disease because only qualified medical professionals take blood from you. And they use fresh, sterilised needles. I mean, its one needle per donor.
Asides the snacks and drinks (smiles) you get when you donate, the real satisfaction comes from knowing you are helping to save a life.
Yes, you can help save a life. Visit Redbank.