Blood is life. It has yet to be created. Till now, only a human body creates it to give to another human. It brings smiles to those patients who receive it and have their lives saved ! Now, let’s delve into its use in the life-saving process.
It supplies oxygen to cells and tissues. It supplies essential nutrients to cells, such as amino acids, fatty acids, and glucose. It removes carbon dioxide, urea and lactic acid (waste products) Its white blood cells have antibodies which defend us from infection and foreign bodies.
Blood transfusions save more than 25,000 to 30,000 lives each year. It’s estimated that blood is needed every 15 minutes (based on 150 pints of blood used everyday), and it would be great to know if there are statistics on out of how many people entering the hospital will need blood. Since blood cannot be manufactured or purchased it can only come from volunteer donors like you.
Currently there are about 85% of non-remunerated blood donors in Mauritius. We hope by 2020, 100% will be blood donors. The 15% are replacement blood donors.
Depending on patient need, your blood donation may be separated into several different components that may be used to treat a variety of medical conditions or illnesses. In fact, the majority of blood is not used by accident victims, but for everyday needs such as cancer treatments, orthopedic surgeries, cardiovascular surgery, dialysis patients, thalassemia patients and blood disorders such as anemia or sickle cell disease. Blood is separated into components so that several patients may benefit from one blood donation. These are the most common uses for the different blood components:
Red Blood Cells: RBC remove carbon dioxide from your body, transporting it to the lungs for you to exhale. Red blood cells are made inside your bones, in the bone marrow. They typically live for about 120 days, and then they die.
The most frequently transfused component. Treatment of chronic anemia resulting from disorders such as kidney failure, malignancy or gastrointestinal bleeding, and congestive heart failure. Treatment to raise the hematocrit or hemoglobin levels without raising blood volume (such as with elderly patients) and to replenish acute blood loss resulting from surgery or an accident.
Platelets: Treatments for leukemia (blood cancer) and other cancers. We advised and urged you to become platelets donors. A person can give platelets 24 times in a year. Platelets are tiny blood cells that help your body form clots to stop bleeding. If one of your blood vessels gets damaged, it sends out signals that are picked up by platelets. The platelets then rush to the site of damage and form a plug, or clot, to repair the damage.
Plasma: The liquid portion of blood that contains proteins that help treat severe bleeding problems. Blood plasma is a yellowish coloured liquid component of blood that normally holds the blood cells in whole blood in suspension ; this makes plasma the extracellular matrix of blood cells. It makes up about 55% of the body’s total blood volume.
Cryoprecipitate: A component of plasma that contains blood clotting proteins. It is used to treat or prevent bleeding disorders such as hemophiliac. It may also be used as a hemostatic preparation in surgery.