Donating blood is quite a common practice nowadays and you would be able to witness many volunteer workers spreading the importance of blood donation. A lot of people actually do donate blood as the human body rejuvenates it in some time. Blood donors are congratulated and given certificates on the society’s behalf to express gratitude. A lot of blood goes to the blood bank where it is checked for any infections or unwanted contaminations and then it is stored carefully in a cold storage unit. But what is all this blood actually used for? Let’s have a look at the top 5 uses of donated blood.
Blood is required in a lot of cases of accidents or operations. Donated blood comes to the rescue of patients who have lost a lot of blood due to a reason. The blood type needs to be matched and then it is ready to be transfused into the patient via intravenous injections. These situations may be life-threatening or could be very minor surgeries where blood transfusion would be required. Blood can be either taken from a volunteer on the spot or you can get some from the blood bank.
A lot of blood collected from human body is used for some groundbreaking research. Apart from just regular blood donation for research, cord blood donation is also gaining popularity with banks being set up specifically for its storage. But Is cord blood banking worth it, since not a lot of pregnant women agree to donate it? Well yes, it is. Research done on a comparatively small number of samples of cord blood has helped find cures for around 80 dangerous diseases like leukemia, lymphomas, sickle cell disease, and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. Apart from just curing diseases the blood from the cord as well as from normal extraction, both have contributed to the study of immunity to diseases.
Blood isn’t used as a whole all the time. Sometimes a patient requires just some components present in the blood like hemoglobin. For this, the blood is separated into 3 different components and stored in the blood bank after you donate it. Let’s have a look at the usefulness of these 3 components.
Red Blood Cells
Red blood cells or more commonly known as RBCs are the carriers of oxygen in the blood. Actually, the hemoglobin present in RBC helps to get oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body and the RBCs also get the carbon dioxide back as waste to the lungs.
Just like RBCs plasma is also a carrier. Plasma is a slightly yellowish liquid present in blood that is responsible for carrying all the nutrients, hormones, and proteins to different parts of the body. Plasma can also be separated from the blood. It can be stored and transfused separately.
Platelets are the healing units present in the blood. They are also called thrombocytes. Their job is to clot any bleeding that happens. People with a low platelet count find that their wounds take much longer to heal.
There are a number of ways the donated blood is used- to help save and enhance a countless number of lives. Donating blood is a noble cause and should be done by every healthy individual of a society.