By| Published: June 14th, 2017
Blood is the special bodily fluid that is a combination of plasma and cells.
Blood is an irreplaceable fluid has myriad of functions that include the following but not limited to:
- Carrying and supplying our body with essential sugar, oxygen, hormones and other essential nutrients
- Carrying wastes from the cells that is eventually flushed out of our body in the form of urine, faeces, sweat and carbon dioxide
However, when it comes to blood donation, it is the blood group that is considered as determining factor.
Types of Blood Groups & Donor and Recipients
Receiving blood from a wrong donor can prove to be fatal. Therefore, it is very important to be aware about blood groups. Blood groups are classified based on the presence or absence of antigen A and B and the third antigen Rh factor on the surface of red blood cells. Based on this there are eight types of blood groups: O+, O–, A+, A–, B+, B–, AB+ and AB–.
The O– blood group is the universal donor and AB+ is the universal recipient. However, in some cases, when only plasma is required, AB plasma is the universal donor.
Who and How Often Can One Donate?
In the event of accidents and other emergency cases, blood is required to replace the heavy loss. In such scenarios, the blood is taken from friends, family and blood banks. There are a few criteria that an individual should meet to donate blood
- A fit and healthy individual who weighs at least 45–50 kg
- Belongs to the age group 17–66 years
- There is a gap of 8–12 weeks between two donations. This range is because the duration for whole blood, power red donation and platelet donation varies.
Please note that these are just the generalized factors, however, a basic health check-up and blood test is done to validate the donor
Does Blood Donation Benefit the Donor?
Now we know what is blood, types of blood group and who and how often an individual can donate. But do you know that blood donation is not only beneficial for the recipient but also for the donor as well. A few of them include:
- Prevention of heart and liver ailments because of iron overload
- Blood donation aids in weight loss
- Promotes good health by boosting the production of new blood cells
- Decreases the risk of hemochromatosis
Considering the above benefits, it is advised to give blood often. However, always consult your healthcare provider and share medical history before blood donation.