Blood drives life, it’s constantly circulating within the human body ensuring that all essential substances like nutrition, oxygen reach all different parts of our body and the cells. An average person carries nearly 5 liters of blood, it circulates the body through blood vessels and is pumped through the heart.
It can never be substituted, regenerated, or manufactured. The only source of blood for patients who need blood transfusion are blood donors. In general, blood is a combination of plasma and cells wherein plasma makes up nearly 55 percent of the blood count. The rest 45 percent is a mix of red/white blood cells and platelets.
Basic Components of Blood
As stated above, blood is a mix of plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. All these components play a vital role in the functioning of blood.
Let’s understand the usability of each component separately:
Out of the entire proportion, nearly 55 percent is plasma. In general, plasma is 92 percent water, while the rest 8 percent is a mix of carbon dioxide, glucose, hormones, proteins, vitamins, and more.
- Red Blood Cells (Erythrocytes)
They are the most abundant cell type in the blood and are primarily responsible for carrying oxygen to the blood cells and delivering carbon dioxide to the lungs. RBCs are also helpful in determining your blood type. Red blood cells have certain identifiers on their surface called antigens whose presence or absence helps your body’s immune system to recognize its red blood cell type.
- White Blood Cells (Leukocytes)
They are less than 1 percent of the entire blood content and form a vital defense mechanism against all sorts of illnesses and infections by destroying infectious agents and cancer cells, or producing antibodies. Your WBC count increases during physical exertion, while it minimizes during rest, anemic conditions, or malnutrition. Both the deprivation or higher count of WBCs in the body can indicate diseases.
- Platelets (Thrombocytes)
They are blood cells responsible for blood clotting. In case of an injury, these platelets form out a plug/clot to help you stop the bleeding. The low count of platelets leads to an increase in bleeding, while too much formation of platelets can lead to abnormal blood clot formation which can be life-threatening.
What is Meant by Blood Transfusion? Why are Blood Banks Important?
Ideally, blood transfusion is the process of transferring blood components from one person (donor) into the bloodstream of another person (recipient). It comes into play especially as a life-saving process for the recipient when there’s a considerable loss of blood cells through bleeding or depression of the bone marrow.
Blood bank services act as the universal point as they collect, test, and store all types of blood. They carefully screen test the blood for any signs of infection. Other than screening for infections, they also check the blood type if it’s type A, B, AB, or O and whether it’s Rh-negative or Rh-positive.
Note: If your blood type is “O-negative”, you’re the universal donor who can transfer your blood to nearly everyone and if your blood type is “AB-positive”, you act as universal recipients. However, any mismatch between the blood types can prove fatal, so blood tests must be done, carefully.
How Is NH the Best Blood Bank in India?
The Blood bank at Narayana Health is of one of the largest hospital-based blood banks and frequently conducts irradiation of blood components and plateletpheresis. Our blood bank has an unparalleled track record. We make sure that the correct type of blood is provided by following strict quality control measures. Before issuing to the patients, the Blood Bank conducts all the important tests pertaining to blood transfusion. Narayana Health group frequently conducts various donation camps for people to voluntarily donate blood and encourage patients and their family members to donate blood at the blood bank.
Once separated, one unit of blood can be transfused to different patients to cater to their individual needs. A blood bank breaks down every unit of blood into components like red blood cells, plasma, cryoprecipitate AHF, and platelets.
Tests conducted pre-transfusion
To ensure effective results and avoid all complications, the blood bank ensures a set of standard tests pre-transfusion. These tests include;
- ABO Typing
ABO typing is done to determine the blood type. It involves testing red blood cells for the presence of A and B antigens.
- Rh Typing
Rhesus typing also known as Rh typing is a test performed to assess the outer layer of your red blood cells for the presence of a specific protein, Rh factor. The presence or absence of this protein makes you Rh positive or Rh negative.
- Antibody screening
This test is conducted to screen for antibodies aimed against red blood cell antigens apart from the A and B antigens in an individual’s blood.
- Screening for infections
Every blood bank conducts tests to check for current or past infections. The infections can include;
- Hepatitis viruses B and C
- Malarial Parasite
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
When is blood transfusion needed?
Individuals may need a blood transfusion for different reasons. Some of them include;
- To replace lost blood after a serious injury or surgery
- Digestive tract bleeding
- Lack of healthy red blood cells
- Radiation therapy, chemotherapy or other cancer treatments
- Blood disorders
Does Blood Transfusion Have Any Potential Side Effects?
The entire blood transfusion process is critical and one must ensure that there’s a proper match between the blood types of the donor and the recipient. Generally, there are no complications associated with a blood transfusion process, however, at times, minor to severe problems can arise after several days.
Some of the most common complications in the blood transfusion process in blood bank services include the following:
- Allergic Reactions
Even if you’re receiving the right blood type, you might experience an allergic reaction during the blood transfusion process. In such cases, the most common symptoms include hives and itching. In case, you’re experiencing any such symptoms, either treat it with antihistamines (drugs which treat allergic rhinitis & other allergies) or consult a doctor immediately to avoid serious complications.
When the blood transfusion process is complete, you might experience a little fever. It’s a normal response of your body to the white blood cells that get transfused within your body. However, if the conditions persist for a longer duration in combination with other signs like nausea or chest pain, it could be serious. If you notice any such reaction, consulting your doctor is the best option.
- Acute Immune Hemolytic Reaction
This is one of the most critical, and rare reactions that you might experience if your body starts attacking the transfused red blood cells. In this condition, the attack on RBCs triggers the release of a substance that damages your kidneys. This is more commonly seen in individuals wherein there’s a mismatch between the donor blood and the recipients’ blood type. The symptoms include nausea, fever, chest or lower back pain, and dark urine.
- Blood-Borne Diseases
Usually, before any blood transfusion process, the blood is always screened and tested for any potential presence of viruses, bacteria, etc. However, they can still be present inside and infect the patient after the transfusion process.
Blood Bank FAQs
A Blood bank is a medical facility where blood is collected from donors and it’s separated based on the type and components. It is then stored and prepared for transfusion to its recipients. The separation of blood is usually done when each donated unit of blood is separated into multiple components like red blood cells platelets and plasma.
A common blood bank procedure done by any blood bank in India that has become increasingly common is apheresis. This is the process of extraction specific elements of the blood like platelets and returning the remaining elements (red blood cells and plasma) to the donor. This procedure allows one particular component of the blood to be collected and have it separated from a whole unit of blood. Apheresis is performed to collect plasma- the liquid part of the blood, and granulocytes- the white blood cells.
Blood bank services will provide blood to accident victims, patients undergoing surgery, patients who are receiving treatment for leukaemia or other diseases like sickle cell disease, and thalassemia.
A blood bank service can store blood for 35 or 42 days if it’s not frozen. If the blood is frozen then it can be stored for up to 10 years, but this is not a popular option because freezing the blood is a poor way of storing it. Generally, blood is kept in a refrigerator, where it’s stored for up to 35 or 42 days.
Blood can be stored in a cooler that is validated by a blood bank service, for up to six hours. The cooler must be returned to the blood bank once the six hours are over. The cooler will be repacked and reissued if the blood is still required. The expiration time will be marked on the outside of the cooler. If the transfusion is not initiated within the given time frame, which is completed within four hours of the time issued, then the component has to be returned to the blood bank.
Any healthy induvial male of female between age group of 18 to 60 years
Average body weight for blood donation should be 45 Kgs
Haemoglobin content should be 12.5 gm/dl
Men can donate the blood every 3 months
Women can donate the blood every 3 months
Have a refreshing drink
Do not smoke for 30 mins
Avoid alcohol immediately
Drink plenty of fluids during next 3 days
You may remove ban aid after 2-3 hours
If you feel giddiness lay down or sit down with your head between the knees
You may resume to work soon after donation
Please do not drive for half an hour after donation
Enhances the production of new blood cells
Improves overall cardiovascular health
Lower Cholesterol level
Helps in weight loss
Lowers the risk of stroke
Lowers the risk of cancer
Reduces the chances of heart attacks
Makes the donor psychologically rejuvenate