Blood Donation in Sri Lanka
World Blood Donor Day is celebrated on June 14 globally. Sri Lanka was the host country to mark World Blood Donor Day in 2014. This was also claimed to be South Asia’s largest blood drive. Blood donation in Sri Lanka has become one of the common voluntary campaigns in recent years.
This day is celebrated to create and spread awareness about the benefits of blood donation, and to thank those who voluntarily donate their blood.
Blood Donor Day is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Karl Landsteiner. He was the Austrian physician who separated blood groups for the first time. In fact, Landsteiner’s discovery led to the first instances of safe blood transfusions.
Blood donation is a voluntary process. It can save millions of lives and help people with certain diseases to live longer as well. Blood donation can save accident victims, cancer patients, and even pregnant women.
Who Can Donate Blood?
Anyone who is willing to donate blood must meet the following requirements:
- The acceptable age for donation should be between 18-60 years with a minimum weight of 50Kg
- If previously donated, at least 4 months should be elapsed since the date of the previous donation.
- Hemoglobin level should be more than 12g/dL. (this blood test is done prior to each blood donation)
- Free from any serious disease condition or pregnancy.
- Should have a valid identity card or any other document to prove the identity.
- Free from “Risk Behaviors”.
Keep your blood sugar and blood pressure levels in check:
Risk Behaviors as described in the National Blood Transfusion Service official website:
- Sex workers and their clients.
- Drug addicts.
- Engaging in sex with any of the above.
- Having more than one sexual partner
Upon meeting the above requirements, donors can donate up to 350 milliliters (ml) of blood.
Why Should I Donate Blood? – The Benefits of Donating Blood:
- Every blood donor is first put through a range of tests that are necessary to ascertain the quality of blood. Thus, a blood donor gets a complete blood test done, free of charge. As a result, this makes it easier for doctors to detect early symptoms of diseases in regular donors.
- The body tries to replenish the number of blood cells lost during donation. This results in faster creation of new blood cells which revitalizes organs.
- Donating a pint of blood burns calories, as well as prompts the body into converting stored fat to energy.
- The body also tries to minimize further blood loss by healing wounds faster.
- Blood donation helps in also providing a sense of psychological well-being
Please beware of the fact that donating blood can lead to some side effects such as fatigue and Anaemia.
Tips to minimize the side effects of the blood donation process:
- The donor should eat regularly before donating to keep the blood sugar levels stable.
- Foods that are high in fat should be skipped since they can interfere with the blood testing process, rendering the blood unusable.
- It is also important to drink around 500 ml of water immediately before the donation. This will prevent drop-in blood pressure during donation and thus avoiding getting unconscious or dizzy.
- Alcohol should be avoided at least 24 hours before giving blood since it produces dehydration.
- It is necessary to avoid vigorous exercises before and after donating blood.
- Resting the body helps to replenish the fluids that are lost during donation.
Where Can I Donate Blood in Sri Lanka?
National Blood Transfusion Serving in Sri Lanka consists of 96 blood banks across the island. National Blood Center at Elvitigala Mawatha Narahenpita is the operational headquarters.
You can donate blood at the National Blood Center in Narahenpita, during any of the 365 days of the year between the times of 8 AM to 6 PM. On the other hand, at hospital-based blood banks, donors can make their donations between the times of 8 AM to 4 PM.
Referring to blood donation in Sri Lanka, the most wanted blood types are A-, B-, O- and AB-. The negative blood type donors are less compared to the positive types per Dr. Deepa Saranajeewa, The Deputy Director of National Blood Transfusion Service.
How to Contact the National Blood Center in Sri Lanka?
You may find the below posts useful if you believe you learned something from this article:
- Dengue rise in Sri Lanka. What you need to know.
- Pre-diabetes: Risk factors, diagnosis and prevention.
Below is the list of cluster centers and blood bank contact numbers across Sri Lanka:
|Cluster||Blood Bank||TP NUMBER|
|Ampara||Kalmunai AM(S)||067 2222261|
|Ampara||Kalmunai Base(N)||067 2229261|
|Jaffna||Point Pedro||021 226 3261|
|Jaffna||Thellippallai||021 321 2614|
|NBC||Accident Serv.||011 2691111|
|NBC||IDH – Angoda||011 2411284|
|NBC||SJGH – Kotte||011 2778610-12|