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All you should know about Blood Donation in Qatar

Author : Dr.Jacob Neil (Specialist Internist)

The gift of blood is the gift of life

No doubt the first and foremost advantage of donating blood is the exalted feeling of saving someone’s life. If we donate the little excess blood in our body, it could save someone’s life without creating any problems for us. Blood is in constant need in the medical community. People in accidents are brought to an emergency, and patients undergoing surgery, cancer treatment, or therapy for burns or blood-related diseases will need blood. To keep the supply fresh and plentiful, donors are always needed.
Blood donation also burns the extra calories and reduces your cholesterol levels. After donating blood, the count of blood cells decreases in our body, which stimulates the bone marrow to produce new red blood cells in order to replenish the loss. So, it stimulates the production of new blood cells and refreshes the system.
Blood donation is the most valued service to mankind. Nothing is comparable to the preciousness of human blood. The gift of blood is the gift of life. There is no substitute for human blood. Blood cannot be manufactured – it can only come from generous donors.

Blood collection wouldn’t be possible without the willing support of generous people like you. If you’ve never donated blood, please consider starting now. It’s a safe and easy way to help others. If you have already donated, please consider adding one or two more donations this year.

-Dr.jacob Neil

Who can give blood in Qatar?

In Qatar, Blood Donor Centres under Hamad Medical Corporation is the only health organization responsible for the provision of blood supplies for the whole state of Qatar including all governmental and private health institutes. They are offering a facility for regular walk-in blood donation for the residents of Qatar and conducting internal and external blood donation drives with the support of various associations and private institutions including WELLKINS Medical Centre.
As per the policy of the Blood Donation Centre, Any healthy adult between the ages of 18 and 65 can give blood. However, before donating blood, you must be fit enough to do so. This means a nurse will ask you some brief, but confidential, questions about your medical history. Even if you are hypertensive or diabetic and well-controlled, blood can be given.

  • The donor should not have traveled to foreign countries for a period like 3 months, 6 Months Etc. (The period varies for different countries)
  • On the day of donation, The donor should be healthy.
  • He/she should have ample rest, enough sleep and take a snack meal before the process of blood donation
  • Hemoglobin for male should be 13 -18 gl/dl.
  • Hemoglobin for female should be 12.5- 16 gm/dl
  • Bodyweight should be not less than 50kgs.
  • The donors should be free from skin disease, skin punctures or scars at the site of phlebotomy.
  • Body Temperature should be less than 37.5 C
  • The pulse rate should be between 50-100 beats/minute.
  • Blood pressure 100/60 – 180/100 mm Hg.

There are a few reasons why you might not be able to give blood. They are:

  • If giving blood could affect your good health such as if you are anemic, or your blood could transmit an infection to the person receiving it. For example, if you are unwell on the day of donation with flu, a chest infection, or a urinary tract infection.
  • If you are pregnant or you’ve had a baby in the last nine months. This is because your growing baby absorbs iron from your body’s stores reducing your iron levels. Labor also often involves blood loss, meaning your body will need time to replenish its iron supplies.
  • If your lifestyle puts you at risk of HIV or hepatitis.
  • If you’ve had ear or body piercing within the last year as there is a potential risk of infection if an unsterile needle is used.

Is it safe to donate blood in Qatar?

Only sterile, one-use needles are used in blood donation, so you are not at risk of infection. And if it is the loss of blood you worry about, you needn’t worry. Your body soon replaces what has been taken.

Is there anything I should do to prepare to give blood?

  • In the hours leading up to your donation, you would do well to eat enough to prevent any faintness or reaction. Drink enough water to maintain blood volume.
  • Get plenty of sleep in the night prior to the day of donation, minimum 6 hours sleep is compulsory.

What happens before I give blood?

  • You will first be asked to prove your identity and provide a quick finger prick sample to test that your iron levels are adequate to donate. If your iron levels are good, your blood pressure and temperature will be checked.
  • You will also be asked to fill in a questionnaire and speak with a trained health professional. Do not be alarmed if the questions seem highly personal. All information gathered is confidential and necessary to ensure the safety of donors and those receiving blood.

How is my blood taken?

If you are not having dizziness or vertigo, a blood pressure cuff will be placed on your upper arm. This applies slight pressure to the veins to keep them full of blood. At this point, a needle will be placed in your vein and 1 pint of blood will be collected. Once the blood has been extracted, the needle is carefully removed, and the small puncture is covered with a cotton ball or sterile gauze.
Your donor carer will sit with you throughout the donation, talking to you and explaining the procedure. Once your blood is delivered into the blood pack, it is sent off to a laboratory to be tested and if all is clear it’s delivered to a blood bank ready for use. When you have recovered, you are offered a cup of tea or a cold drink and some biscuits. This gives you time to check that you feel well enough to go back to your normal tasks.

How will donating blood affect me?

  • Most people feel fit and healthy after donating blood. However, some people may feel a bit dizzy, nauseated or tired. Rarely people faint or experience muscle spasms.
  • People who smoke soon after giving blood are more likely to feel the effects of nicotine and could feel faint because people’s ability to take in oxygen is slightly reduced after smoking a cigarette.
  • People who drink alcohol within a few hours of giving blood are more likely to feel faint because alcohol dilates the blood vessels. This causes less blood to be available to circulate to the brain leading to dizziness.
  • Being in a hot room also causes the blood vessels to dilate and can have a similar effect to alcohol.
  • Vigorous exercise can also make you feel faint. The donor should avoid strenuous activity for 6 to 8 hours after you have donated blood.
  • Missing meals and not replacing fluids can take you longer to recover from blood donation. You should try to eat normally and have a soft drink before giving blood.
  • Standing still for long periods can lead to the pooling of blood in the legs, a situation similar to soldiers on parade. This reduces the amount of blood available to the brain. If you rush about, miss a meal, have a liquid lunch, a cigarette, or get overheated you may feel faint even if you gave blood several hours ago.

What happens if I feel faint? 

  • Tell either a friend or a nurse, if you are at a blood donor session.
  • If you feel faint bend forward with your head between your knees until the feeling passes. Your blood pressure can drop slightly after giving blood and being seated means your heart doesn’t have to pump so hard to get blood to your brain. 

How often can I give blood? 

You can give blood up to three times a year. It is recommended you leave 16 weeks before your next blood donation to allow your body to replenish its blood stores to replace the various blood components – plasma, platelets and red blood cells.

So, if you give blood 3 times a year you can save 12 lives.

The Message

Whether in our community or beyond, blood donors perform daily miracles. Statistics show that about every two seconds someone will need blood. It could be five-year-old undergoing chemotherapy, a victim of a car accident, or a patient receiving an organ transplant. There’s also a good chance you or I will need a blood transfusion in our lifetime.

So, with your help we will never have to consider this question, “Will there be enough of this life-saving gift on the shelf the day I, you, a family member, friend, neighbor or co-worker needs it?” With your help, there is no doubt the answer will be a resounding, “Yes!”

Blood collection wouldn’t be possible without the willing support of generous people like you. If you’ve never donated blood, please consider starting now. It’s a safe and easy way to help others. If you have already donated, please consider adding one or two more donations this year.

Thank you for helping our fellows. Lives depend on it, perhaps even your own.

If you are interested to donate blood or a part of a blood donation drive as a volunteer, please WhatsApp us at +974 44442099

This article is written by – Dr.Jacob Neil  ( Internal Medicine )

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