Donating blood is a completely safe process.
All the tools used in the donation process including the needles and bags are designed based on international standards and have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used only once. This makes spreading of infection to the donor impossible. Furthermore, the Swiss Red Cross (SRC) are partners with the NBTS, and according to the SRC Country Representative in Egypt, “The NBTS uses the same technology as the SRC and has extremely high standards; it’s all very safe.”
Donating blood is a simple process.
A professional medical staff will assist you throughout the entire process of blood donation which will only take up to 30 minutes, starting with registering your name and filling out the donor questionnaire, followed by a mini-physical check on haemoglobin and blood pressure levels. Then comes the actual blood collection which only takes 10 minutes (except for platelet donation – please refer to the Platelet Donation section) and finally some refreshments are served.
All information collected, from the donor questionnaire to the results of the blood analysis, is treated with complete confidentiality by the NBTS. Donors receive a copy of their blood analysis results when they are completed in a sealed envelope.
WHAT TO EXPECT
BEFORE DONATING BLOOD
➢ Sleep well, eat at your regular mealtimes, and drink plenty of fluid before you donate blood. Have a snack at least 2 hours before you donate, but do not eat too much right before the donation.
➢ Avoid taking aspirin or aspirin-like anti-inflammatory medication in the 72 hours prior to your donation, because aspirin inhibits the function of blood platelets. If you have taken aspirin within this period, please tell the medical staff to ensure that your blood platelet component will not be transfused to a patient. The other components can still be used.
➢ Wear clothing with sleeves that can easily be rolled up above the elbow.
➢ Bring a ‘List of Medications You Are Taking’ as the doctor will need to know about any prescriptions and/or over the counter medications that may be in your system.
THE DONATION PROCESS
STEP 1: A donor at one of our blood donation drives will be welcomed by a professional team of doctors and nurses from the NBTS. The donor will be asked to fill out a donor questionnaire that includes the following information:
• Personal Information
• Medical History
• Medical Examination Information
STEP 2: Once this is completed, a doctor will perform the required medical examination that includes:
• Blood pressure measurement: Acceptable as long as your blood pressure is between 90/60 up to 140/90
• Haemoglobin testing: Haemoglobin should be 13-18g/dl for male donors and 12-17 g/dl for female donors.
All these data and any other comments will be recorded by the doctor during the medical examination. It is important that the donor meets the medical requirements in order to donate blood. Please refer to the Eligibility as a Blood Donor section.
STEP 3: If approved, the doctor will start collecting your blood by using a new sterile needle that is used once and then discarded, which will only take approximately 10 minutes.
If rejected, the professionals of the NBTS will explain to the donor why he/she was rejected and whether he/she can donate blood in the future – if so, he/she is encouraged to attend the next blood donation drive.
STEP 4: After donating blood, the NBTS will provide some refreshments i.e. juice, for donors at the end of the blood donation process. It is recommended for donors to consume the refreshment, to allow the body to adjust itself from the slight decrease in fluid volume.
o Drink an immense amount of fluids during the 4 hours following the blood donation and continue to drink water throughout the day of your donation.
o Leave the bandage on the syringe place for 6 – 12 hours.
o Avoid smoking for 2 hours if possible.
o Avoid any strenuous effort for 24 hours (avoid heavy lifting or exercise).
o Avoid standing in direct sunlight and/or heat for 2 hours.
o Feeling faint or fatigued after donating blood is uncommon. Most donors feel fine before and after donating, but a small number of people may have a lightheaded or dizzy feeling. If you feel faint, stop what you are doing, lie down, and raise your feet until the feeling passes and you feel well enough to safely resume activities. And remember to enjoy the feeling of knowing you have helped save lives!
This is the end of the blood donation process. At this point, you will be full of joy, knowing that in the past 30 minutes, you have helped give someone the gift of life.
Your next visit would be much appreciated! There are more lives that need to be saved.
Adequate supply of safe blood can only be assured through regular donation by voluntary unpaid blood donors as advised by the World Health Organization. Come back again for the next blood donation drive. Remember that the minimum interval between donations of whole blood should be 12 weeks (males) and 16 weeks (females).