Blood donation is of major significance to the healthcare services asthe donated blood offers numerous benefits to those needing it. Thevarious blood components extracted from the donated blood offervarious individual advantages to the people in need of blood. Manypeople are familiar that the blood they give saves as many as threelives hence they have a human drive to donate the blood to save asmany lives as they possibly can. Upon donating blood, the blood canundergo an extraction process to separate the various bloodcomponents, or can be delivered as whole blood to the people needingit in the hospitals. Plasma is the widely needed blood component usedto cure cancer, replace infected blood in patients with blooddiseases, aid in kidney operations and diseases, replace blood loss,and used in childbirth. Red blood cells help in anemic diseases andthe white blood cells help in diseases that attack the defensemechanism of the sick patients. However, despite the largeapplications for the blood, a huge populace gets paranoid of donatingblood from the harms they suspect or hear the process brings. It iscommon for people to panic before donations, as I once did, but afterthe donation, they smile off thinking how ease and non-harming theprocess turns to be. Among the top worries are fainting during theprocess and pain from the extracting needle. In most cases, petiteharm comes to those donating blood, for the first time and mostrarely to the regular donors. Although the number of blood donorsdeveloping any disturbance from the donation is low, it isnevertheless desirable to reduce the potential risks to the minimumlevel possible.
Themost devastating problem of the blood donation process is the case ofusing equipment that is not properly sterilized or even sterilized atall. It is a standard expectation that during the engagement ofdonating blood, the equipment should be discarded after using on asingle individual. In recent times and the developed countries, theprocess of sterilization tops among the priorities of the blood banksand to the teams collecting blood. Failure to sterilize the equipmentin the blood donation process introduces a huge risk on both thedonor and the recipient of the blood. In the 1990s, China reused theequipment used in the blood donation centers, and consequently, anestimated number of 250000 donors had exposure to the HIV (Williams254).The populace acquired the deadly virus from the contaminatedequipment in the blood donating centers. Apart from deadly viruses,the usage of unsterilized equipment in the developing nationscompromises the safety of the donated blood and adds addition healthrisks to the people in the dire need of the blood in the hospitalcenters (Williams276).
Afterthe donation processes, very few people complain of conditions causedby the blood donation. The fact the numbers exist, the problems areworth a discussion. Mild reactions lead the category for thefirst-timers in donating blood. Agitation, nausea, sense of weakness,cold feeling, pallor, and sweating are among the complications thatthe first-timers in blood donation encounter (Hillyer68).The mild reactions do not last for long after the blood donation.However, the frequent occurrence of the mild reactions to a donor maycause the donor to shy off from another voluntary engagement ofoffering blood.Hillyer states that severedisorders from blood donation are loss of consciousness, vomiting,and convulsive syncope (74). The number of people having the severereactions is very small nonetheless, it is still imperative toreduce the associated risks to the lowest possible mark. The mild andthe severe reactions are vasovagal reactions triggered by the painfrom the venipuncture. Sometimes the reactions are from a donorseeing the flow of their blood, or that of another donor, by theanxiety of donating blood for the first-timers.
Thereare predominant occurrences to problems associated with the venousaccess when the individual offers blood. The extravasations of theveins cause hematomas that result from the incorrect placement of theneedle during venipuncture (Ignatavicius184).The site of the extravasations may have pain, swelling, andhyperemia. Local happenings may stimulate pain caused by the slighttrauma inflicted to the subcutaneous nerve endings. In most of theoccurrence of such cases, the complications do not require anyserious treatment. They are banal cases that disappear on their own(Ignatavicius150).However, there are serious complications with a very rare occurrencerate that may need treatment after they occur. Such cases asthrombophlebitis and local phlebitis are serious and need medicalattention immediately the donors acquire them. Another problem forthe donor is the adverse reaction of the donor to the sodium nitratein the aphaeresis in the collection process that prevents the bloodfrom clotting. The return of the anticoagulant and the non-collectedblood components to the donor binds the calcium in the donor’sblood to cause hypocalcaemia. The hypocalcaemia causes the donor tohave tingly lips, seizures, hypertension among other seriouscomplications.
Theoccurrence of such complications, however, minor or rare pushes thedonors to the extent of not donating any blood since they fear fortheir medical condition. First-time donors, pregnant women, andteenagers are at the greatest risk of developing a complication afterthey give out blood (Harmening47).It is only two percent of donors that develops complications.Long-term complications may be rare, but the occurrence of thelong-term effects pushes blood banks to offer provisional questionsto the donors in order to find out of any existing medical conditionthat may trigger the complications. Rapid change in the bloodpressure of the donor may cause hypovolemic results, but once thedonor adjusts their blood pressure, the condition vanishes. The hugeemphasis on even the minor problems of the blood donation engagementis pivotal to help manufacture and invent processes to extract bloodfrom the bodies of the donors without any negative consequence.
TRALI(Transfusion-related Acute Lung Injury) is among the serious problemsat transfusion of the apparently donated blood. The diseaseoriginates from the white blood cell antibodies that are in theplasma of the donated blood components. When transfusion occurs, theantibodies get a high possibility to activate a white blood celltermed as a granulocyte. The cell causes the plasma to leak into thelungs of the recipient of the blood causing a fluid accumulation tocreate a condition termed as acute pulmonary edema (Sibinga47).The antibodies are most likely in previously pregnant women, or menand women with a recent history of blood transfusion and transplants.The problem is looming since the current medical developments inblood donation do not have methods of screening for TRALI. Inaddition, there are no procedures to eliminate the risk of a donorcarrying antibodies causing TRALI (Sibinga64).However, the condition has a low occurrence frequency but it is agreat problem to the blood banks since the apparent lack of anyscreening technology for the antibodies is by itself a downfall forthe blood collection process. Blood donation continues to a processof screening the blood of any undesired characteristics, mostly thosebringing harm to the recipients. The process of screening revealsvarious conditions, or infecting microorganisms present in thereceived blood. In such scenarios, the whole blood is discarded, andthe collection team may get to the ground and collect the samemicroorganisms from the unsuspecting donors. The wastage of theinfected and contaminated blood adds to the cost of collecting blooddue to the repetitive activity that may end up with few pints ofhealthy blood. More so, the screening process tests for the bloodgroup of the blood and the Rh type of the blood donated. The processensures that the blood recipients get blood that matches with theirblood type.
Theshelf life of the donated blood is a constant debate that cannot gowithout discussion. In most cases, the campaigns for blood donationhappen in cases of medical emergencies since donated blood has a veryshort shelf life. Food and Drug Administration limits the storage ofdonated red blood cells to up to forty-two days (Murty46).However, other blood components degrade within a shorter period thanthe six weeks period. Offering old blood to recipients places them inhuge health risks as the old blood contains harmful components (Murty63).
Inconclusion, the study reveals the importance of the donated blood tohelp in various medical cases and hence, the huge importance ofeducating on the problems that face the blood donors. Additionally,the crucial information regarding the infections and conditionsarising from the blood donation helps to educate the blood donors andthe blood collectors on the safest ways to collect blood that posezero risks to either party. More so, the problems facing the blooddonation are rare in occurrence and may not happen at all for theregular blood donors. The first-timers, pregnant women, and teenagershave varied levels of high risks to contracting the complicationsfrom blood donation. The mild or severe infections place the blooddonation out of consideration for various people as they fear to havethe infections out of their voluntary action. However, as the studyshows, most of the infections heal on their own and need no medicalintervention especially for the first-time blood donors. It is hencean encouragement for all people to place blood donations on theirbucket lists. Despite saving lives and the various benefits that adonor gets from offering blood, the risk and frequency of acquiring acomplication remains relatively low. Moreover, the problems of blooddonation occur to a mere two percent of a batch of donors to mean thelikelihood of developing any complication is rather low. The bloodbanks in-charge of collecting blood from the volunteering donors runsa series of tests in the form of questions to the donor in theinquiry of extensive information. The information collected from thedonors has partial meaning to advise a donor against any risk theymay acquire from their volunteering activity to offer blood. Thepeople in charge of collecting the blood get special training inorder to prevent any occurrence of venipuncture. Their specialtraining ensures to lower the risks associated with a burst vein inthe process of extracting blood from the donor.
Harmening,Denise M. Modernblood banking and transfusion practices.FA Davis, 2012.
Hillyer,Christopher D. Bloodbanking and transfusion medicine: basic principles & practice.Elsevier Health Sciences, 2010.
Ignatavicius,Donna D., and M. Linda Workman. Medical-surgicalnursing: Patient-centered collaborative care.Elsevier Health Sciences, 2015.
Murty,Katta G., ed. CaseStudies in Operations Research: Applications of Optimal DecisionMaking.Vol. 212. Springer, 2014.
Sibinga,Cees Smit, P. C. Das, and T. J. Greenwalt, eds. FutureDevelopments in Blood Banking: Proceedings of the Tenth AnnualSymposium on Blood Transfusion, Groningen 1985, Organized by the RedCross Blood Bank Groningen-Drenthe.Vol. 15. Springer Science & Business Media, 2012.
Williams,Bruce M. AnAdministrative Compendium on Trends for Identifying Adequate BloodDonation by African Americans: A Collection of Literary ResearchProcedure Papers.Xlibris Corporation, 2015.