Human blood and blood plasma can not be synthesized. Sick people who need blood or drugs from blood or blood plasma are therefore dependent on donors and donors. Most of the blood needs cancer patients, followed by cardiac, gastric and intestinal diseases, only in fourth place accident victims.

This is how our blood gets together

Our blood consists of 55% blood plasma. This is the transparent liquid that settles when you leave blood. Plasma consists mainly of water. But also from about 120 proteins (4.5%), from which highly effective drugs are produced, for example, coagulants for hemophilic (blood) and immunoglobulins (preventive) against life-threatening infections, such as hepatitis or tetanus.

It also contains 45% blood cells:

  • 3% red blood cells (erythrocytes), which transport the vital oxygen from the lungs to all body cells.
  • 0.1% white blood cells (leucocytes): The "body police" detects and destroys pathogens.
  • 0.9% platelets (platelets) are mainly involved in haemostasis. They especially need people with blood cancer.

Blood & Plasma - 5 Facts about Donation & Receiving

  1. Blood differs by blood type, for example Rhesus factor and other factors. The donated blood must match that of the recipient.
  2. From blood and blood plasma many important substances and medicines are won (blood products).
  3. Only rarely is thoroughbred transmitted today! Most recipients get targeted the components of the blood that they need. So a blood donation can help many people.
  4. In whole blood donation, about 500 ml of blood is donated, which is only one tenth of the total blood volume. The donation takes about 20 minutes. Including examination, resting phase and snack barely an hour.
  5. You can only donate plasma! In a special device (plasmapheresis device), the blood cells are separated from the plasma and returned to the body. All components of the plasma replace the body within two days! That's why you can donate plasma up to 40 times a year. The plasma donation itself takes about 40 minutes.

Blood has become very safe!

Many people worry about getting infected with AIDS or hepatitis, for example, when they receive blood, blood plasma or blood plasma drugs. Fortunately, these fears can now be dispelled. In recent years, the security measures in Germany have been immensely improved. For recipients and donors the highest safety standards apply:

  • Donors are examined before each donation. For the least doubt, for example, after piercing or stay in a malaria area, a break must be made.
  • The dispenser uses sterile disposable syringes and germ-free disposables.
  • All blood donation services are regularly monitored by the authorities.
  • Every single blood or plasma product is tested for HIV, various forms of hepatitis, syphilis, etc. using state-of-the-art methods.
  • Because some early-stage infections are not detectable in the blood, fresh plasma is stored frozen in quarantine for half a year. It will not be used until the dispenser has been retested.
  • Medicines from blood plasma are "virus-inactivated" during production, ie a broad spectrum of viruses is rendered harmless.

Since 1998, Germany is one of the few countries that have a transfusion law. It ensures the highest safety and quality standards. Modern state authorities monitor the safety of blood products. The German Medical Association and the Working Group on Blood are constantly revising the scientific standards.

What blood donors want to know

1. Can blood donations not be replaced by donated blood?
Yes, about 5 to 15%. For this, treatment must be predictable for a long time and the state of health of the person must make it possible to donate blood. This is often not the case, for example, with cancer patients.

2. Why should I donate free of charge or for a small compensation?
Blood donations are voluntary. It should not be lured people with risks because they need money.

3. donate whole blood or plasma?
Germany is largely self-sufficient with whole blood. Plasma, on the other hand, still has to be imported in order to be able to produce special drugs, for example factor VIII, immunoglobulins.

4. Do I have any benefits when donating?
Yes, definitely! The first time you learn your blood type, for example Rhesus factor. Each time blood pressure, pulse, temperature and special blood factors are examined. If necessary, you will learn early about an infectious disease and can respond quickly.

5. Who can donate how often?
Blood can donate men 6 times a year. Women, however, only 4 times, as they additionally lose iron through the menstrual period and need a longer time to rebuild this. Plasma can donate 18 to 65 year olds up to 40 times a year.

6. Does it harm to donate blood or plasma?
Clearly no, because the donated amounts are low and will be replaced quickly - and the little prick does (usually) not hurt!

Did you know, ...

  • that in Germany about 15, 000 blood donations are needed daily, that is over 4.5 million a year?
  • that 66% of all people need blood, blood plasma or medicine at some point in their lives?
  • but that only 2.5% of Germans donate blood voluntarily and free of charge several times a year? Thanks to these two million fellow citizens! But 30% of Germans are basically willing to donate.
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