Red Cross: Too little blood in the summer



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Too little blood in the summer: German Red Cross is urgently looking for blood donors

In summer, fewer people donate blood each year than in the cooler seasons. The German Red Cross (DRK) is therefore campaigning for blood donors. However, many fear fainting, for example, and can therefore be prevented from donating. Roland Karl, head of the institutes for transfusion medicine at the blood donation service east of the DRK, clarifies.

A healthy body can easily cope with blood donation
Roland Karl reports that the fear of potential blood donors tipping over is justified: "We only take a small part of the blood." The body can easily cope with the withdrawal of just 500 milliliters. Donating blood is an emotional matter, explains Karl. Around two-thirds of the population is able to draw blood from their health. Still, only ten percent of them would donate blood. According to the expert, there are many fears and prejudices among the population. "There are people who have not yet donated and still fall over."

The employees of the blood donation service are attuned to anxious donors. With appropriate training, they would have learned how to deal with the concerns and fears. The staff would talk to the donors to distract them from the needle stick. "A donor shouldn't think so much about what is coming," advises Karl. The best thing for donors who are afraid of the needle or their own blood is to look away if they are stung.

Avoid coffee and milk before donating blood
"It also plays an important role in which condition I come to donate blood," reports Karl. The body is often more sensitive at high temperatures. The situation is similar if too little liquid has been drunk beforehand. “We always recommend drinking one or two glasses half an hour to an hour beforehand.” Water, juice and tea are suitable, while coffee and milk are taboo. "This affects the quality of the donation."

In the summer, there are regular bottlenecks at the DRK blood donation services. Potential donors will then probably prefer to be in the open air than in a laboratory to donate their blood. Another problem is the competition that pays donations money for taking blood. DRK spokesman Friedrich-Ernst Düppe emphasizes that this is actually prohibited. In some cases, amounts of more than 25 euros would be made available. This corresponds to the triple daily rate of the Hartz IV standard rate. Financial aspects therefore appear to be an important factor when deciding to donate blood. In Europe, the law stipulates that blood donations must be voluntary and free of charge. According to Düppe, compensation for travel and parking costs would be appropriate, but nothing more. (ag)

Read on:
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