Celebrated around the world on June 14, World Blood Donor Day serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. The day also commemorates the need to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure that all individuals and communities have access to affordable and timely supplies of safe and quality-assured blood, as an integral part of universal health coverage.
While blood donation can assist in a number of health aspects, from basic research to finding cures for cancer and degenerative diseases to genetic disorders, not everyone may be eligible to donate blood. Here are a few things one needs to remember before donating blood according to WHO.
For starters, a person can donate blood if he/she is in:
Is at least 18 years old
Weighs at least 50 kgs
Is not pregnant
Possess a valid government-issued photo ID
One cannot donate if the person has a cold, flu, sore throat, cold sore, stomach bug or any other infection. A recent tattoo or body piercing also does not allow blood donation for 6 months from the date of the procedure. However, if the body piercing was performed by a registered health professional and any inflammation has settled completely, you can donate blood after 12 hours.
If a person has a minor dental procedure done, then he/she must wait 24 hours before donating; for major work wait a month.
One must not donate blood if he/she does not meet the minimum haemoglobin level for blood donation.
Furthermore, people must not give blood if they have engaged in 'risky' sexual activity during last 12 months, have tested positive for HIV and injected recreational drugs.