Blood Donation

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” said Jesus. And true to his covenant (or promise), he shed his blood upon the Cross.

This reality makes blood donation a possibility for us. Indeed, the sacrifice of the Son of God makes blood donation the noblest among donations.

  • Blood is the very source of life that sustains every human being - defying differences of caste and religion. Again, the red of the blood - 1common to every human being - is blind to gender, religion or caste; blind to the giving of blood and the receiving of blood.
  • Blood is veritably the river of life. It transports the nutrients essential for the proper functioning and
  • growth of the body and distributes it to every part of the body. It is simple knowledge that without blood, the various parts of the body stop functioning.
  • The Red Blood Cells (erythrocytes) in the blood, bring oxygen from the lungs, and transport it to all parts of the body.
  • The blood carries carbon dioxide to the lungs, where it is exhaled from the body. It also functions to eliminate wastes such as urea and lactic acid from the body.
  • White Blood Cells (leukocytes) guard the body from various diseases, helping us lead a healthy life.
  • As it is not possible to preserve or stock blood for a long time, it becomes essential to continuouslyencourage blood donation.


How Much Blood?




Quantity of blood per kg of body Weight



Quantity of blood per kg of body weight required for circulation



Surplus blood available per kg of body weight



Only a maximum of 350ml blood is drawn from a person weighing 45kg presenting himself / herself for blood donation.


Blood Donation: Who Needs It

  • Women in childbirth-related emergencies
  • For exchange transfusion for newborn infants.
  • Accident victims who have suffered severe blood loss or shock (sudden drop in blood flow through the body).
  • Patients undergoing a major surgery including open heart surgeries, transplants etc. need blood handy for emergencies
  • Burn victims
  • Anaemic persons i.e. those with a low haemoglobin count
  • Patients with Thalassemia and Haemophilia (bleeding disorders) and those with kidney disease need blood throughout their lives
  • Patients with blood cancer/leukaemia need blood throughout their period of treatment


Who Can Donate Blood

  • All healthy men and women can donate blood
  • Those in the age group 18-60 can donate blood
  • Men have 76ml/kg of blood and women 66ml/kg. Of this, only 6ml/kg is drawn during blood donation.
  • There is another way of stating this. An average person has about 5 litres of blood in the body. Of this, a maximum of only 350ml is drawn in course of blood donation.
  • A blood donor should weigh at least 45kg.
  • The haemoglobin level should be over 12.5g/dl
  • Blood pressure must be normal (100-140 at the highest pressure; 60-90 at the lowest pressure).
  • Men may donate blood once in 3 months and women once in 4 months.
  • The process of blood donation takes only 15 minutes. You can resume your normal activities within 30 minutes of making the donation.
  • Have normal body temperature at the time of donation.


Who Should Not Donate Blood?

  • Women should avoid donation during their menstruating period.
  • Pregnant or lactating women (or those who have recently had an abortion).
  • Do not donate blood within 6 months after a major surgery and 3 months after a minor surgery.
  • Persons who have been treated for malaria must refrain from blood donation for a period of 3 months.
  • Persons who have been treated for jaundice must refrain from blood donation for a period of 6 months.
  • Diabetics with poor control over sugar levels; those with lung diseases; those affected by Hepatitis B & C virus.
  • Those who have undergone organ transplantation should avoid blood donation.
  • Those addicted to drugs and persons who have consumed alcohol 24 prior to donation must avoid donating blood.
  • Persons suffering from HIV/AIDS; having multiple sexual partners and/or having sexually transmitted
  • diseases like Syphilis must not donate blood all their lives.


  • Persons with any systemic disease like heart disease, kidney disease, liver problems, blood disorders or asthma should not donate blood.
  • Persons who are on steroids, hormonal supplements or certain specified medication


It is not from the rocks that blood gushes,
But from the hearts of men aflood
With mature love that rushes
When blood calls to blood

Those who have undergone various vaccinations should avoid donation for the corresponding period specified below:


Type of Vaccine

The period for which donation should be avoided

Hepatitis B

6 months

Live vaccines

2 weeks


Killed vaccines

48 hours


1 year


Blood Screening

Blood can be received for donation only after experienced medical professionals have duly screened the blood. The blood test results are provided to the donor at the time of donation. This comes as a ‘bonus’ to the donor!


  • Quantity of Blood Required : 70 lakh units per annum
  • Quantity of Blood Received: 50 lakh units per annum
  • No. of Blood Banks : 2060
  • No. of Blood Grouping Institutes: 82


The Indian Red Cross Society will soon be starting blood banks with ultra-modern facilities with the support of the Central Government in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai.