The title with the "Saga" word seems like an overkill for a blog on blood donation, but that is what it has been to me. This personal saga for donating blood started almost 3-4 years back, but due to various internal and external reasons creeping in, wasnt able to donate blood so far. These varied from reasons such as the donation camp dates in close proximity to some of my endurance sports events wherein I feared that too much blood loss would result in a drop in my performance to a bit outrageous reason such as getting bitten by dogs :P (A person administered anti rabies vaccination cannot donate blood for upto an year). Apart from all these "reasons" I had given myself for the delayed gratification, the real reason for not donating blood was that I was AFRAID. Afraid subconsciously of the big needle inserted into my vein and close to half a litre of blood being taken out. Hence took me quite some time to overcome that fear and donate blood. Therefore in short this was nothing short of attempting some adventure sport :P.
Every 6 months or so a blood donation camp is organized in our office by the Rotary Club. So when such a camp was organized in the beginning of this year, jumped to the opportunity to finally donate and get over the fear, and I must confess it was a breezy affair. After a mini health checkup, a needle was inserted to my vein and the permissible limit of 450 ml was reached within a matter of 10 mins. Once that is done was put into the recovery phase with lots of fluids and food. I was in and out of the entire thing within 45 mins.
Some advantages of donating blood, which I found over the internet.
1. The feel good factor. The satisfaction of saving 3 lifes from just 450 ml of the blood donated. This includes components such as red blood cells, platelets and plasma which are separated and donated.
2. Free medical checkup. Before the donation a free haemoglobin and BP check is done. And before the blood is injected to the person receiving the donation, the blood is tested for Hepatitis B, C, HIV AIDS etc. and if anything is found the donor is informed.
3. The health angle. Donating 450 ml of blood is equivalent to burning 650 KCals of energy. Further studies have found that donating blood is good to keep a check on the high iron content in the blood , especially in adult males. Iron content within the permissible limits reduces the risk of heart attack and cancer. Therefore donating blood should be in the must-to-do-list of all the healthy males out there.
Therefore a person looses nothing but gains a lot of benefits. The lost blood is usually restored within 48 hrs, during which the donor should avoid heavy exercise and hydrate himself as much as possible. The recommended intervals between successive blood donations should be atleast 3 months. Therefore now I am planning to donate blood at-least once every year. And what inspired me the most was that a severely physically handicapped guy standing in front of me to donate blood. When he can, why cant we ????!!!!. So have you donated blood for this year ???!!!!!. If not go do it, it feels great. :)