Can you donate blood while fasting?

Blood donation is always very important. The need for blood donation, which is vital, is also very high… Hospital blood banks, especially the Turkish Red Crescent, fulfill this important task of meeting the demand for blood and blood products. Prof. Dr. Barış Malbora emphasized that blood donation is a constant need, and provided information on the things to be considered in blood donation.

Noting that blood centers should maintain sufficient stocks to meet the demand for blood and blood components in a timely manner and establish stocking policies to prevent deterioration due to excess stocks, Prof. Dr. Barış Malbora said: “Unfortunately, we all experienced together how important this policy was during the great earthquake that we recently experienced there are important notes that we the healthy people of today should also pay attention to components are used more efficiently by separating these blood components with high tech devices, and more than one patient needing different blood components can be cured with a sample taken from a volunteer.

prof. Saying that there is “platelet suspension”, “plasma” with blood components, red blood, our blood clotting cells and “granulocyte suspension”, which is rarely needed, the body’s defense cells are very low, and the cells called white blood cells that fight microbes are outsourced . Dr. Barış Malbora stated that there are various medical methods to obtain these products.

For example, for patients requiring red blood, whole blood is drawn to obtain erythrocyte suspension. After this centrifugation process, it is separated into two major components. It separates into ‘platelet-rich plasma’ and ‘erythrocyte suspension’. Platelet-rich plasma is centrifuged again into ‘platelet cells’ , suspension and “plasma”. In other words, with this method, three different blood products are obtained from a healthy volunteer. In other words, a volunteer can die from three different patients with three different problems. This process only takes 30-40 minutes from the life of the volunteer, while obtaining three separate blood components.Another method is the method where platelets only are obtained and obtained with special devices called ‘apheresis’ and obtain higher quality platelets compared to the other method.

In the first method, the amount of platelets obtained from a volunteer is not enough for an adult patient, and platelets obtained from more than one patient by a similar method are combined, and the platelet obtained by this method is called “pooled” platelets. In the second method, the amount of platelets obtained from a volunteer easily meets the needs of an adult patient. The product obtained in this way is called ‘apheresis platelet suspension’. 6 to 8 times more product can be obtained than the platelets obtained from the first method. This method is much healthier for the patient. To obtain platelets by the apheresis method, our volunteers will have enough time to devote one hour of their day. In addition, if the volunteer’s blood values ​​are appropriate, two or even three units of platelet suspension can be obtained at once. In other words, an hour of our lives can contribute to the survival of three bleeding patients.”

Emphasizing that storage conditions and duration vary depending on the types of blood components, the expert’s name said, “For example, ‘whole blood’ can be stored at 2-6 degrees in a blood storage cabinet with an alarm and temperature control for 35 hours.” days The ‘erythrocyte suspension’ can be stored for a maximum of 42 days under the same conditions. Platelets Unfortunately we have less luck with the ‘suspension’.

Because the lifespan of this blood product is only 5 days. For this, the “platelet suspension” retains its function in special bags at a temperature of 20-24 degrees, provided that it is constantly shaken in devices called agitators. It would be appropriate to administer all blood components as soon as possible after collection to maximize patient benefit. It should not be forgotten that the ‘platelet suspension’, which has the shortest shelf life, is a blood product that must be given both urgently and fresh for patients with bleeding.”


Referring to the well-known misconceptions about blood donation, Prof. Dr. Barış Malbora explains, The first of these misinformation is that ‘it is easier to access common blood group components in society’. Many of us know that the most common blood type in Turkey is Rh positive. For this reason, individuals with this blood type may be ‘lazy’ about donating blood, assuming that it is much easier to reach this blood type than other blood types. This is a misconception. Because let’s not forget that there will be so many patients with the same blood group. People with AB Rh negative blood group should pay twice as much attention to their own health. Because, first of all, your blood is very precious. You have golden blood for the patient in need. Second, be careful if you need blood components. The percentage of people with this blood type in our society is only 1%!”


Malbora stated that it is medically inappropriate for a person fasting during Ramadan, i.e. a person who is hungry and thirsty, to be a blood donor during this period, even if his health permits, and Malbora listed solutions for donating blood during ramadan.

“As we all know, Ramadan is the holy month of the Islamic world. In this month, many people who are healthy in all Islamic societies fast as part of their religious obligations. It is not medically appropriate for a fasting person to donate blood during this period, even if his health permits. In these holy days, we as doctors and patients who have to continue the treatment path such as leukemia, cancer, Mediterranean anemia (thalassemia), patients with bone marrow failure, people who have had bone marrow transplants and patients who undergoing major surgical procedures are having a hard time donating blood during Ramadan. They are making significant changes to their workflow to facilitate the blood donation process of our volunteers. While blood donations are only accepted during working hours on normal days , this process is carried out after iftar in Ramadan Therefore, it should be essential for us healthy blood donor volunteers to continue this health chain. In other words, fasting is a blood donor. never be a hindrance.”


The first step is for the volunteers to register with an identity card at the Red Crescent branches or the blood bank of the hospitals.
Subsequently, the volunteer must fill in the questionnaire form in which we assess his state of health.
In this form, it is asked whether the patient has general health problems, the presence of regular and recent medications, whether he has recently tattooed his body and whether he has traveled abroad, especially where infectious diseases are common and not under control.
If it is concluded in this study that there is no obstacle for the volunteer to be a blood donor, blood can be donated.

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