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Thursday, August 05, 2021

Donating blood in the pandemic: Find out everything about doing it safely

If a person is experiencing fever or sore throat, they must report it before considering blood donation, a doctor advises

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
June 23, 2021 2:10:13 pm
blood donation, why should you donate blood, blood donation in the pandemic, safe blood donation, blood donation and Covid-19, health, indian express newsDonating blood can develop new blood cells and boost immunity. (Photo: Pixabay)

When it comes to saving someone’s life, blood donation is one of the most urgent and important things you can do. Doctors advise that blood donation must happen all through the year, and that one person donates their blood periodically.

But what about donating blood in the pandemic? This is a question that has crossed the minds of many people, especially those who were regular blood donors pre-pandemic. Dr Tushar Tayal, department of internal medicine, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram shares with indianexpress.com that in the pandemic, essential health services, which include the availability of adequate quantities of safe blood in the blood banks have been severely impacted.

“It is crucial that healthy people continue to donate blood so that patients have access to the blood products they require,” he says.

Speaking about the importance of donating blood, the doctor goes on to state the following points:

1. It develops new blood cells and boosts immunity.
2. It lowers the risk of suffering from heart attack, since the “overload of iron contained in blood can increase the chances of blockage in blood vessels, and donating blood helps in maintaining the iron level in the body and helps in lowering cholesterol”.
3. It lowers the risk of cancer.
4. There is a psychological uplift.

The primary question still remains on who can and cannot donate blood in the pandemic.

According to Dr Tayal, the guidelines shared by MoHFW and National Blood Transfusion Council state individuals should defer from donating blood for 28 days with the last possible close contact exposure with a person who is confirmed or a suspected case of Covid-19, including those under quarantine. Individuals should also defer from donating blood for 28 days till there is a complete recovery from the disease including radiological and virological clearance.

If you are an adult and qualify, keep the following things in mind before you donate blood:

– Drink enough water and juices.
– Get enough rest.
– Avoid consumption of tobacco and alcohol.
– Avoid heavy physical activity.
– Eat wholesome food rich in iron and protein.

The doctor says blood collection organisations adhere to all social distancing practices and have the donor’s safety at the forefront.

* Donors and medical staff are required to wear face masks.
* Temperature checks are mandatory for medical staff and donors.
* Hand sanitation throughout the donation process.
* Beds, furniture, and other equipment are all placed at a safe distance.
* There is disinfection of all surfaces touched by medical workers or donors.

“If a person is experiencing fever or sore throat, they must report it before considering blood donation. Maintaining good respiratory hygiene is critical to avoid the spread of the infection,” Dr Tayal concludes.

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