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Donating Blood
• Why should I donate blood?
Blood products’ consumption is increasing year after year.
Donors’ generosity and solidarity are of paramount importance for patients with blood diseases.
Recruiting and developing the loyalty of new donors have become major challenges in order to meet the increasing needs in this regard. Donor mobilization should be sustained both for the Lebanese Red Cross and for patients.
Blood donation is essential because there is no product that can replace human blood.

 You do not need a special reason to donate blood. You just need your own reason.

• Who does my donation help?
Blood transfusion is essential to the treatment of pathologies such as leukemia, lymphoma or sickle-cell anemia, as well as for treating hemorrhages during surgery or after an accident.

• Can I donate blood?
To ensure the safety of blood donation for both donors and recipients, all volunteer blood donors must be evaluated to determine their eligibility to give blood. The final determination will be made on the day of the donation at the blood drive or blood donation center. If you were deferred from donating in the past, you may be able to donate again
Age
The lower age limit for blood donation is 18 years. Before that, blood donations are not allowed.
Between 18 and 60 years of age, all types of blood donations are allowed,. First time donors older than 60 years may be accepted at the discretion of the physician responsible of the blood transfusion center.
 Weight
Prospective donors of whole blood donations should weigh at least 50 kg .
The minimum interval between donations
After whole blood donation an interval of 8 weeks is required before the next whole blood donation The number of units of whole blood collected is less than or equal to six per year for men, and four per year for women

 Travels
 Biological tests

The hemoglobin level must be:
- 12.5 - 16 g/dl for females (Hematocrit = 38 - 48%) and 13.5 - 18 g/dl for males (Hematocrit = 40 - 54%) for any type of donation
Below these values, the donation is left at the discretion of the physician responsible for the blood transfusion center.
 Blood pressure:
Systolic:100-140 mm Hg
Diastolic: 60-90 mm Hg
National Whole blood donor Questionnaire
 Temperature: <37.6 ºC
 Pulse: 60-100 bpm

For purposes of security, an interview is organized with a physician or a health professional before every donation.

Risk behaviors and directives
The risk of contaminating a recipient lies in the donation made by an infected person but whose infection is still in a silent period (a period during which our laboratory tests are not able to detect the disease even though it is present in the body).

Aiming at achieving a zero risk means :
  •  Informing the donor about the risk behaviors and situations that could cause a contamination 
  •      Calling upon the donor to abide by the directives which follow from this
  •      Favoring the self-exclusion of the donors with risk behaviors 
  •      Organizing a medical interview before every donation
  •      Undertaking screening tests on each donation
  •      Reinforcing the post-donation information

This security is the result of a real evolution in the blood transfusion services.
Could one be infected when donating blood? NO
The material which is used for blood collection is sterile and single-use and thus, it is never reused.
« One cannot be infected when donating blood ».

DO NOT DONATE BLOOD IF :
 You took or are taking drugs
 Your partner is on drugs (*)
 You are HIV positive
 You are a man and you had sexual intercourse with another man (*)
 Your partner is HIV positive
 You have multiple sex partners (*)
 You have reason to think that your partner has risk behaviors (*).

(*) These directives should be respected even when a condom was used

YOU SHOULD WAIT 6 MONTHS BEFORE YOU CAN DONATE BLOOD IN CASE:

  •  You had a casual sex partner (*) 
  •  You changed your sex partner (*)

(*) These directives should be respected even when a condom was used

YOU SHOULD WAIT 12 MONTHS BEFORE YOU CAN DONATE BLOOD IN CASE OF:

  •  A tattoo, a piercing in the ear or in any other part of your body 
  •  A scarification which is not medical
  •  An acupuncture treatment carried out with needles which are not single-use, or which are not for strictly personal use 
  •  A cut with an object that could be contaminated (for example, sharing of blade razors)
  •  A direct and lengthy contact of a damaged skin with contaminated blood and secretions 
  •  A injection with a contaminated needle 
  •  A human-to-human bite 
  •  A surgery or an endoscopy

The blood transfusion security is closely linked to the imperative of abiding by all these directives; in fact, they allow to avoid the blood transmission of AIDS and other infectious diseases.

• What should I know after my donation?
We thank you on behalf of all the patients who need a blood transfusion

As you may have noticed, blood samples were collected during the donation. Your blood will be tested for various infectious diseases. You will be notified directly by the transfusion center if your blood tests are positive.

Some precautions to take
The amount of blood taken is small compared to your total blood volume. The recovery is usually rapid and you should not feel any fatigue. However, we recommend for the following 24 hours to:
-Drink plenty of fluids
-Avoid strenuous physical exertion
-If you feel light-headed, sit down and rest for a few minutes with your head between your knees or lie down.

Vigilance after donation
If you develop any signs of infection (cold, fever…) in the two weeks following the donation, if you forgot to mention something or you want to modify information that you provided during the medical screening, you should inform the blood bank as soon as possible.
The safety of the patient depends on it.
What happens to your blood after you donate
Once tested negative for all infectious diseases the blood unit will be separated into different components: Red blood cells, plasma and platelets. These blood products are then transfused to patients according to their needs and diseases.

• Steps of the donation
Blood is donated in four steps:

Registration
The blood bank staff T LRC BTS will register you and provide you with educational material that describes the donation process.
Medical History and a focused physical examination
In a private and confidential interview, you will be asked about your medical history and the places you have traveled to. We will take your pulse, temperature and blood pressure and screen your hemoglobin level.

The Blood Donation
Collecting one blood unit (450 ml) takes about ten minutes, but the entire donation process usually takes 45 minutes.
A single-use, sterile bag and needle are used; therefore, there is no danger of contracting a disease while donating blood. In addition to the blood collected in the main bag, blood samples are collected for analysis.

Refreshments
You will have a snack and drink plenty of fluids after you donate blood

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