Every year, ABFRL’s CSR wing has blood donation camps across geographies. Last year 1,233 employees from ABFRL, including those from our factories, corporate offices, Pantaloons stores, and warehouses, donated blood. The blood donated by our employees is majorly used for providing blood transfusions to thalassemia patients, who heavily rely on such transfusions for their survival. This highlights the immense impact our employees have made by extending their support.
However, many are still unaware of the benefits of donating blood, and several are turned back due to low hemoglobin count or existing health issues. To ensure more people can come forward and be part of this noble cause, we reached out to Dr. Anuradha Bhat, Chief Medical Officer, ABFRL; Dr. Radhika Nayak S, Medical Officer; Dr. Akshatha K, Medical Officer; and Dr. Nalina Solomon; Medical Officer our Welfare Champions from Madura Manufacturing and Anagha Prabhu, DM, Central Procurement Cell, and certified Nutritionist and Dietitian from ABFRL Corporate to share a few things you can keep in mind before you become part of the next drive.
Benefits of being a donor
Donating blood is an act of pure compassion. Each donation embodies a lifeline, connecting strangers through a shared humanity. It’s not just about health benefits; it’s about the profound joy of making a difference. This act nurtures your heart, not only by safeguarding your cardiovascular well-being but by filling your soul with an unmatched sense of purpose. The emotions that arise are beyond words – a mixture of fulfillment, warmth, and solidarity. By donating blood, you forge unbreakable bonds, weaving a deep connection of care.
Here are a few benefits of this noble act highlighted by ABFRL’s team of doctors and experts.
- Reduces the heart attack risk and improves cardiovascular health.
- Lowers the risk of stroke, cancer, and heart disease.
- Giving blood will help the Liver to stay healthy.
- Enhances the production of new red blood cells.
- Reduces harmful Iron stores, especially for those with hemochromatosis.
- Aids with weight management.
- Giving blood can reveal potential health problems.
- Improves mental well-being.
- Saves lives.
What can Stop Donors?
Certain medical conditions may act as a barrier to you becoming a donor. This is a measure taken to ensure not just your well-being but also the safety of recipients. These conditions vary from temporary ailments to chronic health issues. Understanding these limitations is crucial to maintaining the health of potential donors and the quality of donated blood.
- Anemia, Infectious diseases like (HIV, Hepatitis,) Cardiac cases, Cancer, and severe comorbidities.
- Active substance or alcohol abuse especially 48hrs before donating
- History of medications or recent vaccination
- Underweight people
- Minors who cannot give consent themselves(Less than 18 years).
- Those with a history of STDs, cancer, or myelodysplastic syndromes.
- Those who have already donated blood within 3 months.
- Persons who have undergone major surgery in the past 6 months.
- Persons who are on blood thinners.
- People who are unwell.
- History of recent Tattoos or body piercing.
- Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, menstruating women, or women on birth control pills.
- People with psychotic disorders.
- Hemoglobin deficiency.
“Not just for the ones who require blood, donors also gain from the positives of the act, as they can protect themselves from serious health issues and lead a fuller life by leading a balanced lifestyle.”
“Donating blood on a regular basis depicts a responsible gesture towards society. This kind of regular activity has major psychological benefits, such as reducing the risk of depression and loneliness.”
Dr Akshatha K Medical Officer, ABFRL
“Donating blood is a great way to give back to your community and is one of the most noble and lifesaving acts in the world. It’s usually quick and easy. If you eat healthy on the day of your donation and drink plenty of extra fluids, you should have minimal or no side effects.”
“Avoiding junk foods and consuming a healthier diet with a lower glycaemic index has proven benefits beyond being just a donor. Apart from improving general well-being, it can prevent morbidities such as diabetes.”
“Donating blood depicts selflessness and self-care. It can not only save lives but also serve as a personal commitment to our own health and well-being. It enriches both our body and soul.”
Becoming Fit Donors
Many of us have experienced being turned away when we decided to become donors. A combination of poor vitals, deficiencies, or existing health issues plays a major role in deciding when and how you can make this transition. Diet plays a pivotal role in being a successful blood donor. A balanced diet provides essential nutrients for overall health, ensuring you are physically prepared for safe and effective blood donation. Optimal blood donation readiness hinges on dietary choices. Careful dietary adjustments play a key role in ensuring you’re a fit blood donor. Here are a few ways you can be fit in time for the next donation drive:
- Balance your diet with iron-rich foods such as spinach, Beans, Eggs, fish, pork, lamb, cereals, fruits, vegetables, raisins and dates, meat, etc.
- Fruits like pomegranate, grapes, sapota/chikku.
- Vitamin C (to ensure better absorption of iron).
- Water, as half of the blood is made of water.
- Avoiding junk food and consuming a healthier diet with a lower glycaemic index is proven to prevent morbidities such as diabetes and improve general well-being.
- Go easy on alcohol and stay sober.
- Reduce sitting and screen time.
- Get enough good sleep.
- Track your weight regularly.
Several young and senior folks in the country need blood, at times on short notice. Become a donor and save a life. After all, the best karma comes from unknown places; as a bonus, you become healthier!