Blood Donation, Why & Who Can Donate

Blood Donation is a Gift of Life

Sanjeyan N

7 months ago|4 min read


A blood donation occurs when a person gives their consent to have their blood drawn and used for transfusions or fractionated into biopharmaceutical medications (separation of whole-blood components).

Donations can be made of whole blood or specific components (apheresis). Blood banks are frequently involved in both the collection and the procedures that follow it.


Charles Richard Drew was an American surgeon and medical researcher who lived from June 3, 1904, to April 1, 1950. During World War II, he conducted research on blood transfusions, improved blood storage techniques, and applied his expert knowledge to the establishment of large-scale blood banks. 

Medics were able to save thousands of lives in the Allied forces as a result of this. Drew, as the field's most prominent African American, protested racial segregation in blood donation, citing its lack of scientific foundation, and resigned his position with the American Red Cross, which upheld the policy until 1950.

Blood Donation Types

Blood Donation Types

1. Whole Blood Donation

Whole blood donation is the most adaptable type of donation. It can be transfused whole or broken down into its components of red cells, plasma, and platelets to help multiple people. 

It benefits the following people as Trauma patients and people undergoing surgery are frequently given whole blood. It takes about an hour to complete. All blood types are considered ideal. Donations are made every 56 days.

2. Power Red Donation

You give a concentrated dose of red cells, the part of your blood that is used every day for those who need transfusions, during a Power Red donation. 

This type of donation employs an automated process to separate your red blood cells from the other components of your blood before returning your plasma and platelets to you safely and comfortably.

Trauma patients, newborns, and emergency transfusions during birth, people with sickle cell anemia, and anyone suffering from blood loss is typically given red cells from a Power Red donation. 

It takes about 1.5 hours to complete. O positive, O negative, A negative, and B negative blood types are ideal. Every 112 days, up to three times per year, donations are made.

3. Platelet Donation

Platelets are tiny blood cells that help to stop bleeding by forming clots. Platelets are most likely to help cancer patients and others who are dealing with life-threatening illnesses or injuries.

During a platelet donation, an apheresis machine collects your platelets and some plasma, then returns your red cells and the majority of the plasma to you. A single platelet donation can yield several transfusable units, whereas a single transfusable unit of platelets requires about five whole blood donations.

Platelets can only be obtained at Red Cross donation centers; they are not available at blood drives. More information on platelet donation can be found here.

It benefits the following people: Platelets are an important component of cancer treatments, organ transplants, and other surgical procedures. It takes about 2.5-3 hours to complete. A positive, A negative, B positive, O positive, AB positive, and AB negative are the ideal blood types. Donations can be made up to 24 times per year, every seven days.

4. Plasma Donation

You donate plasma, a portion of your blood that is used to treat patients in emergencies, during an AB Elite donation. Anyone, regardless of blood type, can receive AB plasma. 

Plasma is collected using an automated process that separates plasma from other blood components before returning your red blood cells and platelets to you safely and comfortably. AB Elite maximizes your donation while only taking a few minutes longer than blood donation.

At certain Red Cross donation centers, plasma is collected. It benefits the following people such as AB Plasma is used to help stop bleeding in emergency and trauma situations. 

It will take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete.AB positive and AB negative blood types are ideal. Donations are accepted every 28 days or up to 13 times per year.

Who is eligible to donate blood?

If they are in good health, almost anyone can donate blood. To become a blood donor, there are a few basic requirements that must be met. Some basic eligibility criteria are as follows:


ages between 18 and 65 years old.


To donate 350 ml of blood, you must weigh at least 50 kg; in some countries, whole blood donors must weigh at least 45 kg (10 percent ).


You must be in good health at the time of donation.

If you have a cold, flu, sore throat, cold sore, stomach bug, or any other infection, you cannot donate.

If you've recently had a tattoo or body piercing, you won't be able to donate for six months after the procedure. After 12 hours, if the body piercing was done by a registered health professional and any inflammation has subsided, you can donate blood.

If you've been to the dentist for a minor procedure, you'll need to wait 24 hours before donating; if you've had major work done, you'll need to wait a month.

It is forbidden to donate blood. If your hemoglobin level isn't high enough to donate blood,

At the donation site, a test will be performed.

Many countries require females to have a hemoglobin level of at least 12.0 g/dl and males to have a hemoglobin level of at least 13.0 g/dl.


Traveling to areas where mosquito-borne infections, such as malaria, dengue fever, and Zika virus, are endemic may result in a temporary deferral.

To reduce the risk of transmitting variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) by blood transfusion, many countries implemented policies requiring blood donors with a history of travel or residence in defined cumulative exposure periods in specified countries or areas to be deferred.

Breastfeeding and pregnancy:

Following pregnancy, the deferral period should last for at least as long as the pregnancy itself. Donating blood while breastfeeding is not advised. 

After childbirth, the deferral period is at least 9 months (as with pregnancy) and ends 3 months after your baby has been weaned significantly (i.e. gets most of his or her nutrition from solids or bottle feeding).


Sanjeyan N




Read More