Medical Doctors under the auspices of Association of Resident Doctors, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (ARD-LASUTH) branch have raised alarm over shortage of blood in hospitals across the country, urging Nigerians to embrace voluntary blood donation.

Speaking during a blood donation exercise organised by the association in Lagos, the President, ARD-LASUTH, Dr. Moruf Abdulsalam stressed the need to increase the number of voluntary blood donors in the country with a view to make up for the shortages being recorded in the nation’s blood banks.

He dismissed fears that blood donation could cause death of the donor, adding that, blood donation serves as a complete health screening.

“If you come forth to donate blood, you get screened so that if you have hypertension, hepatitis and forms of diseases, you get screened, you can easily be screened and those health conditions identified.

“The third reason to donate blood is that “there is a reduction risk of over 40 percent of cardiovascular disease in people who donate blood. A number of people have excess of iron in their body and iron contributes to atherosclerosis which is what causes cardiovascular diseases.

“So, when you donate blood, all the time, you remove the excess iron from the body. That explains why women are less prone to cardiovascular diseases. They lose blood from menstruation on monthly basis.” According to Abdulsalam, the association had organised the voluntary blood donation exercise to boost blood banks as well as educate the public on the importance and benefits of voluntary blood donation. He said anyone within the ages of 18 and 55, can donate blood. Besides, the male or female donor whose pax cell volume (PCV) is 40 percent is fit to donate blood. He noted that averagely most people have PCV that is between 30 to 45.

However, the PCV of an intending donor is low, he will be encouraged to go and see a doctor so that  blood medication to boost the PCV can be administered on him.(PCV explains the oxygen carrying capacity on one’s blood.)

“The total amount of blood in a human body is about five litres and those donating give about 500 mills, which is about one tenth of the blood in their body. Thereafter, within two months the donor’s body regenerates that blood.  Whether or not the woman is menstruating, “she can donate so as long as she is not breastfeeding and not pregnant,” he said.

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