Being healthy is a real happiness. Unfortunately, some people have to struggle with many serious diseases in order to be happy and healthy; very often these people have to ask for help from strangers. The First Deputy Director of the Research and Production Centre of Transfusion Saniya Abdrakhmanova has given an interview to the correspondent of BNews.kz on why it is honorary and very useful to be a donor, how the blood donation procedure is fulfilled and how popular donation is.
– Saniya Alishevna, tell us please, what is blood donation statistics in the Republic of Kazakhstan at the present moment?
– The number of donors increases annually. If in 2008 there were approximately 260 000 donations, this index increased up to 292 000 donations in 2014. There are such persons among donors who have voluntarily come to donate blood, and persons who have come to our center in the result of any circumstances. For example, relatives of the patient are recommended by the treating physician to come to the center and donate some part of blood, because blood reserves shall be replenished on the permanent basis. Popularity of blood donation increases due to distribution of information among the population. The society becomes more attentive to the lack of donors. I want people to be always active in this issue and not only when the urgent need occurs. It shall be understood that your blood may be useful for any person regardless of his/her social position, age and disease.
Blood is not always required by persons with high publicity. Most of all, blood is required by persons in hematological departments. They have chronic diseases. People do not respond to their problems. Fortunately, there were no such situations as mass traumatization or anything else in our city.
– What region of our country has the highest popularity of donation? To your opinion, what does this depend on?
– Popularity of donation in regions depends on activity of blood centers only. In general, we have the same situation in all regions. It should be noted that the West-Kazakhstan region is the leader in blood donations. In some way explanation of this problem to the public is better in that region. Astana may not have high indices, because it has no stable population due to such factor as migration. There are no people who had, for example, 40 blood donations and 70 plasma donations, which is a high index. There are people who donate their blood 10-15 times per year. Certainly, we encourage them in every possible way. There are representatives of young people and older generation among them.
– What may you tell about working aspects of your Blood Center?
– Firstly, all materials, medical devices, bags used by us, are of single use. Previously we had reusable flasks. Currently, all items are of single use and sterile. A donor has no risk to take any infection. This stereotype still presents inexplicably in people’s mind. I would like to say that there is no danger. Secondly, we have the most experience nurses whom you may easily trust. They fulfill their work very qualitatively. Donation in our center is absolutely painless due to professional skills of doctors. Thirdly, each person shall understand that blood is neither mineral nor drug, it may be received from donor only and blood is always in high demand. I want as much people as possible to understand this and find a time to donate blood. We work from 9:00 to 15:00 on Monday through Friday and to 13:00 on Saturdays.
– You have told that not everybody who wishes to donate blood finds a time to visit your Blood Center. You should remember about queues. Do you agree that this a time-consuming issue?
– Yes, this problem exists. Now we try to implement a registration system, but even in developed centers previously implemented such system, no more than 50% of people come by appointment. We plan to implement online registration and registration by phone and struggle with queues.
– Is it true that it is useful to donate blood periodically? Is our organism capable to recover from it?
– There are some studies demonstrating that probability of heart attacks for donors is much less than for people who do not donate blood. We know about these studies, have read articles, but more large scale studies shall be conducted to prove this information. Donors themselves say that they need to donate blood regularly; they have a good mood and improved health and well-being. I think the very important role in this plays the feeling of moral state. Renewal of organism is, certainly, presents. Let’s say that erythrocytes (cell formed blood elements – author) live 120 days, then they go to spleen, decay there and new erythrocytes mature in other parts of organism. If donor donates 500 ml of blood, 250 ml are erythrocytes. Organism will actively try to recover them. It’s a real renewal of organism! More clearly, new renewed plasma is more pure.
– Are there any contraindications for donors of blood?
– Contraindications for blood donation are subdivided into two groups: the first group is associated with infections which may be transferred upon blood transfusion to the recipient (hepatitis, tuberculosis, HIV, syphilis). The second group of contraindications includes chronic diseases associated with cardiovascular system and gastrointestinal tract. People with health problems may not be donors. Apart from abovementioned contraindications, there are so-called relative contraindications. For example, after cold, if a sick person has taken aspirin or other drugs, he/she may not be a donor. Aspirin affects the blood clotting ability. A certain period of time shall pass after this. Persons may not be donors after recent tooth extraction (tooth removal procedure – author). If a person wishing to donate blood has recently traveled to tropical countries, he/she also may not be a donor for some time.
– Any person shall be examined for suitability before become a donor. Have you had some cases in your practice when after such examination, in the course of the procedure itself, negative indices have been revealed?
– Of course, this has happened. When any person comes to donate blood, he/she shall fill in the questionnaire with many questions on past diseases, trips, recently made tattoos, visits to dentist, well-being and many other questions. After completion of questionnaire, a donor is checked in the database. Our e-database in Astana has about 500 000 registered persons. 270 000 of them have no right to donate blood, because they have contraindications for donation. The rest 220 000 persons with good health have already been donors and continue donating blood. Thus, each person applying to us is checked on the compulsory basis. If any person comes to donate blood for the first time, a medical card in his/her name is registered. Then this person undergoes hemoglobin level tests and visits the therapist who, in its turn, examines his/her skin, appearance, lungs and measures his/her pressure. More often people look healthy. After examination, a donor goes to blood donation. During blood donation, the first portion of blood goes to vials; the rest blood goes to blood banking bags. When donation is finished, vials are taken by the laboratory. Laboratories reveal many cases when donors have hepatitis C antibodies or hepatitis B antigen, i.e., blood induced infection markers.
– Does it mean that preliminary medical examination is incapable to determine state of health completely and maximally precisely?
– We request to undergo hemoglobin test only to understand whether this person has anemia. Laboratory tests are conducted after blood donation and, depending on the results of these tests, blood with revealed markers is not supplied to medical institutions. It is utilized.
– There are certain food restrictions the day before blood donation. What are they? Is there any additional examination before blood donation? What to do with non-compliant donors who do not observe the required diet?
– Unfortunately, this is not checked. We believe in their words. It should be noted that non-observance of diet does not always negatively affects blood components. If any person of old age has problems with gastrointestinal tract and ate any fat food, his/her plasma may be of not very good quality and is unsuitable for transfusion. However, more often non-observance of diet is not important. We recommend our donors not to come on empty stomach, after night shift or if they have any indispositions. They shall have a bite, but they shall not overeat before blood donation. We try not to make any strong restrictions in food.
– What periodicity is it possible to donate blood with?
– This procedure may be fulfilled 24 times per year, if donate plasma or platelets. Blood only may be donated 6 times per year, because erythrocytes are more important for organism.
– May be any cases of unsuccessful blood donation, for example, any damage has been caused to the donor’s health in the course of this procedure?
– Yes, I shall tell about two cases which may occur in the course of blood donation. First, it is a vein puncture. Usually, a bruise will appear but it disappears during one week. Vein puncture is occurred very rarely and by mistake of doctors. Second, faint may occur in the course of blood donation. This faint is usually based on psychogenic factor (fear, anxiety and increased affection). All our chairs are transformable and in case of faint the following medical aid is rendered to the donor: the donor shall lie down and lift legs up. Cerebral blood supply improves and the donor may continue to donate blood, but usually, in this case we stop donation to prevent any psychological trauma of donor after this procedure.
– Is the Blood Center responsible for further physical state of donor?
– Any indispositions in certain period of time after blood donation are excluded. We always ask our donors to sit 10-15 minutes after this procedure. It is impossible that donor may lose consciousness or feel any indispositions later after blood donation.
– Thank you for interesting conversation. Let me congratulate you with coming professional holiday –Medical Professional Day!