Public Health

Blood Donation


  • Donating blood is a simple medical procedure that can help save lives.
  • There is a growing global need for an adequate and secure blood supply.
  • Blood is made up of red blood cells, platelets, and plasma. 
  • There is a constant need for a regular blood supply; because blood can only be stored for a limited amount of time.
  • You can donate your blood every 2-3 months. You should not donate your blood more than 5 times a year.

What is blood donation?
It is a simple medical procedure that saves lives. A healthy person voluntarily donates blood. This blood then gets examined and stored to be used to treat another person in emergency situations that require blood transfusion. It can also be used for people who need long-term treatments.

Blood type
Blood consists of several components, including red blood cells, platelets, and plasma. All of these components can be used to treat many different conditions. A person’s blood type (or blood group) is inherited from their parents’ genes. There are 8 main blood types:
  • O+: It is the most common blood type.
  • A+: The second most common blood type. 
  • O-: It is known as the universal blood type. It is safe for everyone to receive red blood cells from the O- blood type.
  • A-: It is the universal type for platelet transfusion.
  • B+
  • B-: It is one of the rarest blood types in the world. 
  • AB+
  • AB-: It is the rarest blood type.
Whether a blood type is rare or common, blood donation is always needed. 

Blood type compatibility:
For a blood transfusion to happen, the donor's blood type must match the patient's blood type. A patient can receive blood from a donor with the same blood type or a compatible blood type, as shown in the following figure: 

Reasons and importance
Donating blood means saving lives. Blood transfusion can occur in the following cases:
Pregnancy complications (e.g. ectopic pregnancy and bleeding before, during, or after childbirth).
Severe anemia in children, often caused by malaria or malnutrition.
Emergencies and accidents (including car accidents, burns, and disasters).
Medical procedures and surgeries that require blood transfusion to patients. 
Blood and bone marrow disorders, inherited hemoglobin disorders, and immunodeficiency.
Blood transfusion is necessary for cases that require this procedure to be carried out on a regular basis. This is especially true for people with certain conditions (e.g. thalassemia and sickle cell disease). It is also used for producing certain substances (e.g. coagulation substances for people with hemophilia).

Blood donation eligibility
To be eligible for blood donation, you must:
  • Be in the eligible age group (17-65 years);
  • Weigh at least 50kg;
  • Be in good health;
  • Have no infectious diseases;
  • Your hemoglobin level must be above 12 grams/dL (if you are a woman) and 13 grams/dL (if you are a man).

Who is ineligible for blood donation?
  • Individuals with infections or cold: If the donor has a cold, flu, sore throat, or any other infections, he should not donate blood.
  • If the donor has recently had a tattoo or body piercing, s/he cannot donate blood for at least 6 months from the date s/he underwent this procedure. If the piercing was performed by a certified health professional, and any inflammation s/he had has completely cleared up, a person can donate blood within 12 hours.
  • If the donor undergoes a simple surgical procedure, s/he has to wait 24 hours before donating blood, and a month in case of surgeries.
  • If a person has recently traveled to areas where there are mosquito-borne endemics (e.g. malaria, dengue fever and zika virus), blood donation should be temporarily avoided.
  • Drug users.
  • People suffering from chronic diseases (e.g. AIDS, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, and malaria).
  • Pregnant women should not donate blood. Moreover, it is recommended to avoid donating blood while breastfeeding. Additionally, a mother who gave birth should not be donating blood for at least 9 months. She should also avoid blood donations for least 3 months after her baby is clearly weaned. 

Blood donation procedure:
About 450-500 ml of blood is taken from the donor without posing any risk to his health. The blood bag is then transferred to a blood center where it gets tested and processed before being sent to hospitals. Donors can donate blood every 2-3 months. 

Tips to be followed before and after the blood donation procedure:
Before donating your blood:
  • Have a snack and generally maintain your regular mealtime to keep blood sugar levels stable and avoid feeling dizzy after donating. 
  • Drink 500 ml of water right before donating blood to avoid dizziness or fainting afterwards.
  • Avoid doing any vigorous exercise or heavy lifting on the day of the blood donation.
  • Get a full sleep of 7-9 hours the night before the donation.

After donating your blood:
  • Sit on a chair for 2-5 minutes, then rest for 10-15 minutes before leaving the blood donation place. Avoid vigorous physical activity on the day of the blood donation.
  • Drink fluids and have a snack.
  • If you feel dizzy (fever, sweating, shivering, chills, or nausea), lie down immediately and rest until you start feeling better. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids.
  • The bruising resulting from the needle injection is usually harmless and will disappear with time.
  • If the bleeding recurs, sit down, raise your arm, and apply pressure to the area where the blood comes out for at least 5 minutes.
  • How much time does my body need to recover the blood it lost?
    • It only takes several weeks for your normal level of red blood cells to be restored. As for white blood cells and platelets, they return to normal within a few days.

Myths & Truths:
  • I can donate blood to anyone in my family.
    • Truth: Even though a person's blood type is inherited from his parents' genes, it does not necessarily mean that his blood type will be compatible with other family members’ blood type. Blood transfusion depends on the blood type compatibility between donors and recipients. 

For inquiries, contact us by email.


Last Update : 20 September 2020 01:44 AM
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