Islamabad - Federal Government Polyclinic Hospital (FGPC) has planned to start a massive blood donors’ registration campaign to meet the increasing demand of blood for needy patients.

During the drive a large number of volunteer blood donors will be registered, Executive Director FGPC Dr Raja Amjad Mahmood said while talking to APP yesterday.

He said the standard of Polyclinic’s blood bank had been improved with the provision of the latest technology equipment and deployment of trained staff. He said donated blood was mainly transfused to patients suffering from thalassaemia, haemophilia, anaemia, cancer, kidney failure, dialysis, liver failure, etc. Patients undergoing various kinds of operations, including those of accidents and emergencies, also required blood transfusions, he added.

Dr Amjad said blood donation was safe and there was no chance of contracting any infection during the process. Here at Polyclinic, every unit of blood was collected through a new sterile needle which was discarded after use, he added.

He said the entire appointment took about 30 minutes, including clinical examination, filling out a health questionnaire form, refreshment and some rest afterwards. The main blood donation itself took around 10 minutes.

In-charge Blood Bank Federal Government Polyclinic Hospital Dr Sharif Astori said an adult male could donate after every three months (four times in year) while an adult female could donate three times in a year.

An individual - male or female - of 18-60 years age, who was disease free, physically and mentally healthy, never had hepatitis, weighed 50 kg or more and had hemoglobin level of 12 g/dl or more, could donate blood, he added. He said the blood donated was tested for blood group (ABO and Rh), hepatitis B and C, HIV 1/2 (AIDS), syphilis and malaria.

He said the donated blood had three different components namely red blood cells, platelets concentrate, and fresh frozen plasma (FFP).

He said these components could be transfused to three patients needing different blood components. One donated bag could save three lives and each component was stored at different temperatures. He said blood should not be donated with an empty stomach.

Before donating blood, a donor should take light refreshment like biscuit, tea, water, juice, etc. Blood should not be donated soon after heavy meal and before completion of three months from last donation. He said there was no permanent weakness after blood donation as blood volume donated was made up by the body in a few days.

White blood cells recovered in five days and red blood cells in 21 days and everyone could safely donate blood after three months, he added. He said blood was the red fluid which circulated in the whole body by a special circulatory system. Its function was to transport oxygen, nutrients, hormones, etc to cells of the body and carries back waste material from the cells.

Dr Astori said, “At one time an adult can donate upto 13% of his total body blood volume or 10.5 ml/kg. An average blood donation is about 450 ml which is collected in 8-10 minutes.” This blood, he said, was collected in a sterilized plastic bag which contained solution to prevent clotting of blood.

This fluid (called CPDA-1) prevented the blood from clotting and allows the storage of whole blood for up to 35 days, he added. He said an adult male had 70 ml/kg blood and adult female 67 ml/kg blood.

He said, “Blood contains cellular elements 45% and a fluid part called Plasma 55 % which is made up of 90% water and 10% solids. The cellular part consists of red blood cells which provide oxygen to tissues, white blood cells fight infection and platelets which is vital to stop bleeding.”