Donor who volunteers to donate blood will be asked to register by filling a Medical Questionnaire and ensure that they understand the Donor Information Leaflet. You will be asked for your name as on your ID, address, date of birth, telephone numbers as well as a history of your health including your lifestyle and behaviour. This will be entered in Blood Bank Computerized Management System or database. Information of each and every donor is stored securely on the database.
A Blood Bank Officer or Blood Bank Nursing Staff will ask you questions about your health and lifestyle to determine if you are eligible to donate blood. This procedure is very important to ensure that it is safe for for patients to receive your blood. Sometimes, you may feel disappointed for not being able to donate or deferred permanently due to medical conditions and other criteria. But if you are eligible to donate blood next time, Blood Bank Staff will kindly request you to schedule your blood donation within a month or more or if you have undergone a major surgery (heart surgery for example are deferred permanently) to wait at least a year. A diabetic patient on insulin (injection) cannot donate blood. However, a diabetic patient on tablets CAN give blood, so is a person with high blood pressure (HBP). For a HBP person, it is acceptable as long as your blood pressure is below 180 systolic (first number) and below 100 diastolic (second number) at the time of donation. Medications for high blood pressure do not disqualify you from donating.
HB or Hemoglobin Testing
A small drop is taken from your fingertip to check if your HB level allows you to donate. it is a Pain-free Lancet with a Small Needle. No more fear or … Ouch !
After the nursing staff has cleared the donation area on your forearm, a needle attached to the blood bag will be inserted. You may feel a light prick less painful than a mosquito bite! 450ml of blood will be collected and two vials will be filled to do laboratory tests. One for Cross-Matching and the other one for TTI (Transfusion Transmitted Infection).
Why when Blood Bank do test all blood anyway, why aren’t some people allowed to donate?
No tests are 100% safe and perfect. For many infections, there’s a period after someone is infected when the disease won’t show up in testing yet – this is called the ‘window period’ or “fenêtre sérologique” in French. A person’s body can take 2 weeks to 3 months or more for antibodies to manifest or show any TTI infections. Science or medicines cannot pick and choose. Even with Blood Bank sophisticated testing equipment, even a one day window period still represents some risks.
That’s why the most effective way to keep our blood supply as safe as possible is to make it extremely unlikely that a blood donor has any infections when they donate. This is why a patient’s life remains on your sincerity. You must not donate blood simply to do HIV tests or for other risks of transmitted infections.
Blood Bank is more concerned with providing safe blood to patients and to ensure that a patient life is not at risk and this can only be possible that a blood donor is not at risk and they provide bonafide or genuine or sincere information on their health and their lifestyle.
Does Blood Transfusion Service sell blood to private clinic?
NO! It is sad that some people has blared out wrong information. NBTS is an ISO Certified institution and works as per international norms and guidelines of World Health Organization and as per the AABB (American Association of Blood Banks) and SANBS (South African National Blood Service) standards.
Thank you for your priceless gift by giving the Gift of Life to patients.
Tips for successful blood donation
- Maintain a healthy iron level in your diet by eating iron rich foods, such as red meat, fish, poultry, beans, spinach, iron-fortified cereals and raisins. Avoid coffee.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- Drink at least 1.5 litre of water or nonalcoholic fluids before the donation.
- Eat a healthy meal before your donation. Avoid fatty foods A heavy meal can make you feeling uncomfortable and even having nausea.
- If you are a platelet donor, remember that your system must be free of aspirin for 48 hours or 2 days prior to donation.
- Remember to bring your donor card if you have one, and SPECIALLY your ID