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Blood & Plasma Donation: Benefits, Side Effects and More

Being a human, you may not have access to the power of giving life but you can save a life by donating blood. Donating blood for once can save three lives. As donating blood can save lives, there are also many benefits of donating blood. Apart from blood donation, there is a similar process Apheresis. In this process, a machine is used to separate the components of blood like platelets and plasma. During this pandemic, plasma donation is proved to be helpful in the treatment of Covid19. There are dilemmas in people whether to donate blood or not. Are you also one of those who believe this? Are there several questions in your mind like how often can you donate blood? What are the side effects and benefits of donating blood? What is plasma donation? Plasma donation requirements? So let’s find answers to these questions in detail:

What is Plasma Donation?

Plasma donation is needed for the treatment of respiratory disorders, for modern medical therapies, and in recent time for the treatment of covid-19 patients. Here plasma donation is needed from the patient who had already recover from covid-19 as their plasma contains antibodies that could help fight the virus. The process of plasma donation is called Apheresis where the blood and the plasma is separated in a machine and collected and other components of the blood like red blood cells are returned to your body mixed with saline to replace the
removed plasma. As the benefits of donating blood similarly, there are also many benefits of donating plasma.

Difference between Blood Donation and Plasma Donation:

There is no major difference between plasma donation and blood donation, only that when you donate blood, it gets collected in a bag and later get separated in the lab but when you donate plasma, it gets collected in a machine, and certain components of blood are separated and also send back to your body.

Eligibility criteria for donating blood/Plasma Donation Requirements:

There are certain criteria set by the ministry of health, Government of India and these will decide whether you are eligible for donating blood or not. Also these criteria remain the same for plasma donation requirements. So here is the list of the criteria:

1. Your overall health:

You should be fit and healthy if you want to donate blood. You should not have any transmitted diseases like HIV. There will be a medical examination conducted before you go for donating blood in which all the tests regarding the transmitted diseases will be conducted.

2. Age and weight:

You are eligible for donating blood only when you are above 18 years and not more than 65 years. Your weight should be above 50 kg.

3. Normal pulse rate:

You should have a normal pulse rate between 50 to 100. They should be no irregularities. The authorities will check your pulse rate and tell whether you are eligible for donating blood or not.

4. Body temperature:

Your body temperature should be normal. It should not be above 37.5 Celsius.

5. Hemoglobin:

Your hemoglobin should be normal. A minimum of 12.5 g/dl should be the limit of hemoglobin present in your blood then only you will be eligible for blood donation.

6. Blood pressure:

Your blood pressure should be within normal limits. The diastolic should be 50- 100 mm hg and systolic should be 100- 180 mm Hg.

7. Proper interval:

If you’re a regular blood donor then there should be a 2 to 3 months gap between your blood donations. This is the proper interval time as your body will be able to make the blood in this time. These criteria should be acknowledged as it has the answer to how often can you donate blood? In a year you can donate blood for 4 to 5 times only if you’re regular. Not more than that.

Other than these criteria there are certain things that you should notify the authorities before donating blood like if you have any injuries, or if you have consumed any type of alcohol in the last 24 hours, if you’re under certain medication or not. If you can meet all these criteria then you are eligible for plasma donation and also not will be helping to save lives but also will get all benefits of donating blood.

Benefits of donating blood:

Emotional well being:

When you donate blood you feel good about yourself that boosts up positive thoughts and improves your emotional well being. You can get rid of negativity and there increases a sense of belonging that can reduce isolation. Benefits of donating blood can also help you reduce stress and the thought that you can save someone’s life make you feel pro

A kind of free Heath checkup:

Before donating blood when you have to just go through a medical checkup, where your weight, body temperature, hemoglobin levels, whether you have any transmitted diseases or not is checked. It’s probably like a medical checkup where you can know about your deficiencies and can also know if you’re suffering from any diseases. This can be one of the major benefits of donating blood.

Reduces risks of heart attack:

Donating blood regularly can reduce the risks of heart attack as blood donation camp help in lowering the iron stores which can cause a heart attack. Although there is no evidence found about the reduction of heart diseases as the benefits of donating blood. But certainly, a study found that those who regularly donated blood have lesser risks of a heart attack.

Reduces iron levels in people with hemochromatosis:

People who have high iron levels suffer from hemochromatosis and if you are also suffering from this, here is the benefit that you can get from donating blood as it will help in reducing iron levels in your body, ultimately a very important benefit of donating blood. But sometimes you may not be allowed to donate blood in this condition but that depends on the authorities, whether they allow you or not.

Regulates blood pressure:

The other benefit of donating blood is that you can keep a check on your blood pressure. A study found that donating blood regularly can
reduce the level of blood pressure in people who have high blood pressure. So if you are the one who has blood pressure you can go for donating blood if you want to.

Donating blood helps in managing weight:

Many studies claim that during blood donation your body can burn up to 650 calories in an adult. But this study is not proven and there is no
scientific reason for it. But if you are donating blood that means you are fit and fine as you have already gone through the criteria before donating blood. Also if you are regularly donating blood that means you are looking after your health.

Side effects of blood or plasma donation:

The feeling of Nausea or dehydration

The major side effects that you may face after donating blood are lightheadedness, feeling nauseous, or dizziness. These side effects are very
common shortly after donating blood. During plasma donation, you may feel dehydrated as plasma contains a lot of water and when it is withdrawn from blood a feeling of dizziness is genuine. Although these side effects don’t last for a longer period. This is the reason why just after donating blood or plasma the donor is required to take proper rest for 10 to 15 minutes and have something to drink before going home.

Bruising or discomfort:

During blood or plasma donation when the needle is inserted into your veins there may be bruising after the needle is taken out. Although this may cause some discomfort as it can get red or swollen. But there is no need to worry as this Bruise gets treated very frequently after some time. But if still if the bruise doesn’t get cured within the time you should concern the medical staff.


There also may be a chance of infection if the inserted needle used during the blood donation is not new or has been used many times. However, you don’t have to worry about any type of infections this is very rare.

Citrate reaction:

This is the side effect that you may face if you are going for a plasma donation. When you go for donating plasma they infuse a substance which is called anticoagulant into the machine to prohibit the blood from clotting. In this process, the citrate binds together losing electrolyte that imbalances the calcium molecules for a short time. This is what is known as citrate reaction. However, hardly some people have this side effect. The few symptoms of these side effects are numbness in lips, fingers, and toes, chills or shivering muscles twitching, shortness of breath rapid or slow pulse. There also may be some serious symptoms like spasms, vomiting, shock, irregular pulse, cardiac arrest

Any type of blood donation is like giving power back to life. Many people do not get blood in time and lose their life. If you are eligible you
should go for blood donation, as now you know how often can you donate blood, its side effects, and also the benefits of donating blood. By donating blood you will not only save a life but also helping yourself to be fit and healthy.


Q1.Is it good to donate blood every day?
You can donate blood a minimum of 56 days after your previous blood or plasma donation. It is recommended to maintain the proper gap as your body and this period will fulfill the amount of blood/plasma donated and you will also be eligible for another donation.

Q2. What happens to your body when you donate blood?
When you donate blood, the blood volume is completed by your body within 48 hours and the body can make the red blood cells that you lost during the blood donation within 60 days. regularly donating blood will also help your body to work efficiently and this will also contribute to your health.


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