History of Blood
earliest documentation of blood transfusion is found in
the religious text of many civilizations. The first documented demonstration of
blood transfusion was between two dogs by Richard Lower in 1665.Landsteener
discovered the ABO Blood Group system in 1901, which is one of the most important
landmark discoveries in the Transfusion Medicine. In the 1970s voluntary donors
were accepted as blood donors. These donors were later on found to people having
high-risk activities and the recipients were found to be suffering from liver diseases.
This lead to another discovery of Hepatitis B transmitted by donated blood. Since
then testing for the hepatitis B antigen was implemented and this together with
cessation of paid donors reduced the incidence of post transfusion hepatitis. Further
studies also made us to include tests for Malaria, Syphilis, AIDS, and Hepatitis
C to make the donated blood as safe as possible to the recipient.
What is blood?
One can almost say that blood is that magic potion which
gives life to another person. Though we have made tremendous discoveries and inventions
in Science we are not yet able to make the magic potion called Blood. Human blood
has no substitute. Requirement of safe blood is increasing and regular voluntary
blood donations are vital for blood transfusion services.
Who can donate blood?
Eligibility criteria for blood donation - Donor should
be between 18-55 years of age with a weight of 50 kg or above with pulse rate, body
temperature and blood pressure should be normal. Both men and women can donate.
There are only few conditions in which donors are permanently excluded. The donor
with history of epilepsy, psychotic disorders, abnormal bleeding tendencies, severe
asthma, cardiovascular disorders, malignancy are permanently unfit for blood donation.
Donors suffering from disease like hepatitis, malaria, measles, mumps, and syphilis
may donate blood after full recovery with 3-6 months gap. Also people who have undergone
surgery, blood transfusion may safely donate blood after 6-12 mths for woman donors
who are pregnant or lactating blood is not taken as their iron reserves are already
on the lower side.
How much blood can
Our body has 5.5 ltr of blood of which only 350 ml - 450
ml of blood is taken depending upon weight of donor. Majority of healthy adults
can tolerate withdrawal of one unit of blood. The withdrawn blood volume is restored
within 24 hours and the hemoglobin and cell components are restored in 2 months.
Therefore it is safe to donate blood every three months.
What is done with the
The blood collected in sterile, pyrogen free containers
with anticoagulants like CPDA or CPDA with SAGM. This prevents clotting and provides
nutrition for the cells. This blood is stored at 2-6 C or -20 C depending on the
component prepared. Donated blood undergoes various tests like blood grouping antibody
detection, testing of infections like hepatitis, AIDS, Malaria, syphilis and before
it reaches the recipient it undergoes compatibility testing with the recipient blood.
Modern Blood Transfusion
Modern blood transfusion basically deals with the optimal
use of one unit of blood. One unit of whole blood is separated into components making
it available to different patients according to their requirement. Thus one unit
of blood is converted into packed cell volume, fresh frozen plasma, platelet concentrate,
cryoprecipitate and granulocytes concentrate.
Another important practice is apheresis. This is separation
of only desired component from the donor and return the remaining constituent back
to donor. This technique is also used for remaining pathological substance in patients.
Withdrawal of blood for transfusion is regarded as a safe
procedure now and blood donor has emerged as the single most vital link.