Blood Service

If you’re a blood donor, you’re a hero to someone, somewhere, who received your gracious gift of life.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is blood type?
A: Blood type consist of blood group (A,B,AB,O) AND rh (+ or -)

Everybody has a particular blood type. One gene from your mother and one from your father combine to establish your blood type. Those two genes form a protein (or antigen) that exists on the surface of all red blood cells, and which is capable of stimulating an immune response.

Red cells that have both 'A' & 'B' PROTEIN (ANTIGEN) ARE CALLED AB group.
Red cells that have "A" Protein (antigens) are called A Group.
Red cells that have "B" Protein (antigens) are called B Group.
Red cells that do not have these antigens are called "O" Group.
If this Rh protein (antigens) is present in red blood call of human beings it is called Rh positive
If this Rh protein (antigen) is absent it is Rh negative

Q:Can I Donate?

Any healthy person of either sex between the ages 18 to 60.
Men can donate once in 3 months and women once in 4 months.
The donor should have body weight of more than 45 kgs.
The haemoglobin content should be above 12.5 gms/dl.
The systolic blood pressure should be between 100 and 140 mm of mercury and then diastolic pressure should be between 70 to 100 mm of mercury.
A person has about 65-80 ml of blood per kg of their body weight and can safely donate 6-8ml of blood/kg.
Q:Will it hurt?
A: It will not hurt more than a prick of an injection needle.

Q:How do I help by donating blood?
A: There are many possible different uses for your blood donation.

It might be made into lifesaving or life improving medication for people with cancer, heart disease, on kidney dialysis, people with haemophilia or ill newborn babies just to name a few. Or it could be used for emergency or elective surgery and help people with bowel disease, burn victims or accident victims.

By separating whole blood into its components it is possible to use a single donation to help save up to three lives.

Occasionally, whole blood is used to replace blood lost during surgery or for the treatment of severe bleeding from accidents. However, the majority of blood collected by us is separated into three components by spinning the whole blood donation in a centrifuge at varying speeds to separate each component.


  • Red cells give blood its colour and accounts for up to 40% of its volume. The main function of these cells is to carry oxygen from the lungs to all the cells of the body and remove waste products such as carbon dioxide. Transfusions of red blood cells are used to treat people with severe anaemia (such as Thalassaemia Major), those whose red blood cells do not function adequately and people experiencing severe bleeding such as accident victims and patients undergoing surgery. Red cells have a shelf life of up to 42 days, stored in refrigeration.


  • Platelets are components of blood that assist in the clotting process of wounds. They are literally tiny plates that wedge together covering tears in the blood vessels and preventing blood from leaking into surrounding tissue. Platelets survive in your system for nine to ten days, and are then removed by the spleen.
    The primary use of platelets is in the treatment of people with various cancers. Diseases such as leukaemia and medical treatments like chemotherapy can decrease a person's platelet count. If the number of platelets becomes too low, spontaneous bleeding can occur. Even a small amount of bleeding can be dangerous, particularly if it occurs in the brain.
    Platelets are also used to treat people suffering blood loss.
    Platelets have a shelf life of only 5 days. This is why it is vital to have a constant flow of blood donations coming in. A drop in the level of donations can put a huge strain on  platelet supplies which are essential to ensure people requiring ongoing medical care can get the treatment they need.
    It is possible to only give platelet donations, and give more often.


  • Plasma is the straw coloured fluid in which the red cells, white cells and platelets are suspended. Plasma consists of 70% water and includes minerals, carbohydrates derived from digestion, hormones, waste products and antibodies. Plasma is the most versatile component of blood, as it can be turned into a variety of products, and each product can be used to treat a variety of life-threatening conditions. Plasma has a shelf life of up to twelve months. It is possible to only give plasma donations, and give more often.

Hot tips for healthy donating!

Here's a few tips to help make your donation experience more comfortable and enjoyable for you.



  • Make sure you have something substantial to eat before coming in to give blood.
  • Also have 3-4 glasses of water, fruit juice or a milk drink before you donate to ensure your body has plenty of fluid. This helps the blood flow!




                   These are some things to help you recover as quickly as possible from your lifesaving donation:

  • Keep up the fluids. Water, fruit juice, coffee, tea, milk drinks and others are all good, but we advise against drinking alcohol for 8 hours after you've given blood.
  • Also, don't do any heavy lifting with the 'donating arm' in the 24 hours after you've donated.



Donate again!

The good news is you can give blood again and help save more lives!

If you're a whole blood donor, you can give blood again in 12 weeks. If you're an apheresis plasma or platelet donor, you can give blood in around 2-3 weeks time.