A single blood donation can save up to four lives, according to the Ministry of Health. However, there are a series of temporary or definitive embargoes that establish who cannot donate blood. Although limiting, these measures are necessary.
After all, the person who receives the donated blood is in poor health and needs a 100% reliable blood bag. In search of the perfect donation, there is a list of diseases that prevent their carriers from being donors, such as HIV and Alzheimer’s. There are also some conditions that limit it temporarily, such as anemia and breastfeeding.
At what age can you donate blood?
To donate blood, the person must be between 16 and 69 years old, provided that the first donation was made before the age of 60. In the case of minors, it is necessary to bring an authorization form signed by the legal guardians of the young person.
Is there a minimum weight to donate blood?
One of the criteria that define who will be able to donate blood (or not) is weight. Mandatory, donors must weigh at least 50 kg. The rule is related to the size of blood bags in blood centers — they have an average of 450 ml and need to be completely filled — and the maximum donation limits. Men can donate up to 9 ml/kg of weight, while women can donate up to 8 ml/kg.
What are the temporary impediments to donation?
Before blood collection, those who will donate undergo a screening. At that moment, the team of health professionals performs a series of tests on the potential donor:
- Anemia examination;
- Blood pressure measurement;
- Measurement of heartbeat;
- Temperature measurement.
If some of these screening tests show changes, the individual is temporarily prevented from donating blood, but can return to the donation center at other times. For women, other temporary impediments are pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Can anyone with a tattoo donate blood?
People with tattoos can donate blood like any other, as long as they respect the minimum interval of 6 months between the tattoo and the next donation. In some cases, the period can reach 12 months, depending on the conditions of the place where the tattoo was made (without the use of disposable material).
The six-month interval is the same adopted for any procedure that pierces the skin of the individual, such as permanent makeup and micropigmentation of the eyebrows. Anyone who has had a medium-sized surgery, such as cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal), should also wait for the same period.
Do you need to be fasting?
Before some tests, the patient is advised to arrive fasting, that is, without eating. However, in the case of blood donations, the donor must be well fed. That means he must have had breakfast or lunch as he normally would.
After two hours of the complete meal, you are ready to donate. The only guideline is to avoid very fatty foods, such as fried foods.
Can anyone who had covid donate blood?
After the acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection, people who have had covid-19 can donate blood normally. “Candidates who have a diagnosis or suspicion of coronavirus are able to donate 10 days after complete recovery”, informs Fundação Pró-Sangue in an article about the rules of donation.
Here, it is important to open a parenthesis. That’s because no one who is sick — regardless of whether the disease is caused by viruses or bacteria — is eligible for blood donation. After all, one of the basic criteria for someone to be a donor is “being in good health”, according to Pró-Sangue.
In this way, every individual who is or has been sick must remain for a specific period without donating, which varies for each disease. In some cases, the condition can prevent permanent donation.
For example, those who have a cold must wait at least seven days after symptoms disappear to donate. In case of cold sores or genital herpes, the person will only be fit after the lesions have completely disappeared.
What diseases prevent a person from definitively donating?
Some diseases can permanently prevent blood donation. The following is a list of the main conditions that may prevent future donations:
- Hepatitis after 11 years, regardless of type;
- HIV infection (AIDS virus);
- HTLV I and II virus infection;
- Chagas disease;
- Parkinson’s disease.
It is worth knowing that donated blood is tested for numerous diseases, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis and Chagas disease. However, the person interested in donating should always be honest during the screening, as this avoids a series of unnecessary procedures. In fact, one of Pró-Sangue’s mottos is: “Honesty also saves lives. When donating blood, be honest in the interview”.
If you want to donate blood and want to know how the screening process works, the team at Canaltech already told how this whole process works in a special report.
Source: Pro-Sangue and Ministry of Health
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