What you need to know about blood donation

Health Awareness Week (Photo by Agatha Muhaise)

BY ROSE RUTH AKONGO

The Health Awareness Week has brought to head a number     of issues and blood  donation is one of them.   

The Red Cross Uganda, Mukono branch, was involved in the Health Awareness Week and held various sensitization campaigns on blood donation.

The Red Cross works hand in hand with the blood bank to carry out blood donation and transfusion exercises in Uganda.

During blood transfusion certain aspects are considered and these include the fact that a person should weigh above 45 kg and must be above 17 years of age before they can donate blood.

The various types of blood groups are considered when blood transfusion is being carried out. The types include O, A, B, AB, among others. Each of these blood groups is either positive or negative. The O blood group is the universal donor.

Stephen Otim, a volunteer with the Red Cross, said that there are various risks that someone is exposed to when they want to donate blood.

“Some students may want to donate blood yet they are underweight, which could cause fainting,” he adds.

For people with certain conditions, like sickle cell anaemia, or those who are under certain medical treatment, should also not donate blood.

During the pre-donation testing, a  liquid called copper sulphate is used. If the sample of blood from the intended donor is dropped in the copper sulphate and it sinks, then one can donate; but if it floats, then one cannot donate due to various reasons. These could be either allergic conditions in the donor, or lack of enough blood, among others.

Alex Mutoni, a student of Human Resource Management at Uganda Christian University, is proud of being a donor since high school.

Many Ugandans die yearly as a result of lack of enough blood in their body system, and those who are undergoing treatment in hospital sometimes need a blood transfusion to save their lives. All of us should be involved in the cause of saving lives by donating blood.

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