Blood donation is a very noble act as it helps in saving other people’s lives. If you donate blood or blood plasma, you are giving another person a second chance to live as blood is one thing that cannot be made in labs. People who lose lots of blood due to accidents require blood of their group to survive. Then there are people who are anemic or need changing of their blood due to some serious ailment. In each circumstance, these people can be helped if there are donors of blood. Human blood is made up of many things such as water, gases, fats, and plasma. Plasma is a straw colored liquid that makes up about half of our blood. This plasma contains both red and white blood cells along with platelets.
Blood donation is so called because the donor voluntarily allows blood to be taken from his veins to be used to save other people who require blood. Blood donation is usually unpaid in developed countries and is done with a feeling of charity, but in poor countries, people donate blood in lieu of money or other rewards. A person can donate blood for his own future use also. Before a person can donate blood, his medical checkup is done to ensure he is healthy and not suffering from some diseases such as AIDS, blood sugar, and hepatitis. Blood donation is not hazardous to health as the amount donated is formed again in the body within 48 hours. In US, a person can donate blood only after 56 days of his previous donation if whole blood has been taken, though he can donate plasma again after a week.
Donated blood is usually stored in a blood bank for future use of any other person who may require it in critical ailment or accident. This is called allogenic donation. But when a person donates to save the life of a friend or a family member, it is called a directed donation.
In contrast to blood donation, which is also known as whole blood donation, here only plasma is taken from the blood of the donor and the remaining blood is entered back into the body of the donor. Plasma is a vital constituent of blood made up of proteins and water. It is essential for many body functions and so its deficiency can lead to serious ailments. The process of separating plasma from blood is called plasmapheresis. Although the process of whole blood donation and plasma donation are quite similar, in the case of plasma donation, after separating plasma from the blood of the donor, the blood is returned back in the body of the donor.
When making blood or plasma donation, it is necessary to drink plenty of water. You must eat iron rich foods prior to making blood donation as it helps in making blood after donation. Your health checkup is necessary before donation so as to ensure the safety of your blood that will be used for the treatment of another person.
The main difference between plasma donation and blood donation is that plasma can be donated frequently while blood donation requires a gap of 56 days as per recommendations of Red Cross. This is because red blood cells are not taken in plasma donation. However, both blood donation and plasma donation are noble deeds and are vital for health care system of the country.