The world recognizes Blood Donor Day on June 14, each year. This year’s World Health Organization (WHO) theme is “Safe blood for saving mothers” It focus is on awareness and timely access to safe blood and blood products as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent maternal and child deaths
Who needs the blood?
Globally, every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion.
Transfusions are indicated in;
- Mothers with complications during or after childbirth,
- Newborns and premature babies,
- Trauma victims (following accidents and burns)
- Patient undergoing major surgery like heart surgery, organ transplants among others.
- Patients with leukemia, cancer, sickle cell disease, thalassemia among others.
Blood Type Compatibility
|If your |
blood type is:
|You can receive:|
Who should donate blood?
In Kenya, you can donate blood if you are aged 16-65 years, in good health, and weigh over 50 kg.
However, for teenagers between 16 and 18 years, consent is required from their parents or guardians before donating blood.
After 65 years of age, you may still donate blood but after being certified as medically fit.
Note: All blood donors are asked questions about their medical history.
When should you not donate blood?
- When feeling unwell or have a cold or flu on the day of donation
- If you have been on antibiotics a week prior to donation.
- If you had a body piercing or injected with a non-prescribed drug within the previous year.
- Suffering or Suffered a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the last one year.
- On regular medication or awaiting medical test results.
- If you have consumed alcohol 48 hours before donation
Tips on donating blood
- Have a good meal at least 3 hours before donating blood.
- Accept the snacks offered after the donation. It is recommended to have a good meal later.
- Avoid smoking on the day before donating. One can smoke 3 hours after donation.
Recovery and time between donations
Donors are usually kept at the donation site for 10–15 minutes after donating for observation. Blood centers typically provide light refreshments or a lunch allowance to help the donor recover. The needle site is covered with a bandage and the donor is directed to keep the bandage on for several hours.
Donors are advised to avoid dehydration (strenuous games, alcohol) until a few hours after donation.
Possible Complications Following Blood Donation
- Fainting due to rapid reduction in blood pressure.
- Arm bruising during needle insertion
- Other less common complications include arterial puncture, nerve irritation, tendon injury, and allergic reactions.