Blood donation is a process where a person willingly gives blood and then it is used for transfusion and / or making biopharmaceuticals by a process called fractionation (separation of components from all blood cells). A blood donation can be standard blood donation, or a donation of specific blood components. The institutes for transfusiology participate in the process of blood collection, as well as in the procedures that follow. Today in the developed world, most blood donors are unpaid volunteers who donate blood to create supplies at the emergency room. In some countries, identified blood supplies are limited and donors usually give blood when a family member or friends need a blood transfusion (direct donation). Voluntary donors donate blood as a humanitarian gesture, and in countries where it is allowed some donors are paid, and in some cases there are other forms of stimulus to a humanitarian act, such as paid days off. Donors can also give blood for their future needs (autologous transfusion). Blood donation is relatively safe. Some donors may experience bruising at the site of the sting, or they could faint (pass out). Potential donors are tested for anything that would prevent the safe use of their blood in further transfusion processes. Screening includes testing for diseases that can be transmitted through blood, including HIV and viral hepatitis. A voluntary provider also has to answer questions about his health history and to conduct a clinical examination in order to determine that blood donation is not dangerous to his health. How often the donor can donate varies from day to month on the basis of what they donate and the law of the country in which the donation takes place. For example, in the United States, donors must wait at least eight weeks (56 days), 12-13 weeks in other countries, between full blood donation, but only seven days between Platelets (thrombocytes) (15 days) and twice in plasmapheresis with us 14 days). Volume of donated blood and methods vary. Collection can be done manually or using automated equipment that takes only certain blood components. Most blood components used for transfusion have a short life, and maintenance of constant supply is a constant problem. This has led to an increased interest in autotransfusion.

Regeneration and time between donations

Blood donors are usually waits at the donation site 10-15 minutes after donation, as most adverse reactions occur during or immediately after the process of donation. Transfusion centers usually give refreshing drinks, such as orange juice and cookies. The sting site is covered by a roll bandage and the donor is adviced to keep the bandage for several hours. In warmer weather conditions, donors are advised to avoid dehydration (strenuous exercises and games, alcohol) until several hours after giving. Donated plasma is recuperated after 2-3 days. Red blood cells (erythrocytes) are recuperated from the bone marrow to the circulatory system at a slower flow, on average 36 days in healthy adult males. In one study, the range was 20 to 59 days for full recovery. Plasma and platelet donors can donate cells more often because they do not lose significant amounts of red blood cells. The exact rate of how often a donor can donate is different from country to country. For example, donors of plasmapheresis in the United States are allowed to donate large amounts twice a week and can total 83 liters (about 22 gallons) in one year, while the same donor in Japan can donate only every second week and could only donate about 16 liters per year.


With patients who are prone to iron overload, blood supply prevents the accumulation of toxic quantities. Blood donation can reduce the risk of heart disease for men, but the relationship is not firmly established and can be of selective since donors are tested for health problems. A study published in 2012 showed that repeated blood donation was effective in reducing blood pressure, blood glucose, HbA1c, low-density lipoprotein ratio LDL / high-density lipoprotein HDL and heart rate for patients with metabolic syndrome.

Marko Popin

🇬🇧 Advanced student of medical science and nutrition expert, skyrunner and dog lover.

🇷🇸 Apsolvent medicine i ekspert za ishranu, skyrunner i ljubitelj pasa.

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