Steps and Requirements to donate blood in Spain

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Blood is a precious, renewable liquid that runs within us, but impossible to manufacture by other means. You should not necessarily consider being a donor in a family emergency, you can habituate this act regularly and help thousands of people with specific treatments and in need of this vital liquid. Below we will detail the requirements to donate blood in Spain.

Requirements to donate blood

Blood donations are, according to the Royal Decree that regulates them, «a voluntary and altruistic act». Among the requirements and prohibitions to donate blood in Spain we find the following:

  • All people aged between between the ages of 18 and 65 can donate blood. However, there are exceptions. Those people over 60 who are new donors need the doctor’s permission to do so.
  • Also contemplated exceptionalities in cases of people over 65 years of agewho can donate blood as long as they have a medical permit that must be reviewed annually.
  • For a candidate to be considered suitable for donation must weigh more than 50 kilos. The amount of blood drawn must take into account the donor’s weight and not exceed 13% of the donor’s blood volume. The bags that are usually used for donations are 450 cubic centimeters.
  • In the case of people with less than 50 kilograms of body weight, that amount exceeds the percentage of blood recommended for extraction. In addition, at the time of donation se assess the candidate’s blood pressure and pulse to check that they are within the appropriate limits for extraction.
  • About the periodicity of donationsthe minimum interval between two consecutive extractions cannot be less than two months. The maximum number of annual extractions may not exceed four for men and three for women.

Documents needed to donate blood

It will be necessary to present the donor’s own DNI or any equivalent document that can verify the identity of the citizen.

Steps to donate blood

The donation process has several phases:

  • Reading information about the donation and legal aspects of it.
  • Completion of the medical interview and authorization form for the donation called Informed consent.

Informed consent is one of the most important legal requirements for blood donation.

By filling out the interview sheet and signing it, the donor authorizes the Center to carry out the donation process after being informed of its characteristics.

On the back of the interview sheet there will be detailed information about this legal aspect.

  • Medical examination and interview.
  • Test for the detection of anemia.
  • Donation itself.
  • Recovery and snack.

The questions that the doctor or nurse conducting the interview will ask, as well as the physical examination to which you will be subjected (blood pressure, pulse, hemoglobin) are intended to rule out any problem for which the donation you are going to make could be harmful for the donor or for the people who will receive the inputs obtained from the donation.

In the event that any of these problems are detected, the doctor or nurse may not authorize the donation at that time.

Before donating

It is recommended to sleep well the night before the donation, in turn, go after eating a low-fat meal, never fasting and avoid smoking for at least one hour before the donation.

If you tend to have low iron levels, it can be prepared by eating rich foods, such as red meat, liver, fish and eggs. Also legumes and nuts are rich in this nutrient.

during the donation

Donating blood is a safe, fast and simple process that can be summarized in the following steps:

  • Information: the donor reads generic information about the donation.
  • Completion of the medical questionnaire and identification with DNI or equivalent documentation: This questionnaire is intended to protect both the health of the donor and the recipient, so it is very important to fill it out seriously and rigorously. All information is confidential.
  • Medical interview: Before making each donation, the health personnel conduct an interview with the donors, take their blood pressure and perform a hemoglobin test (a non-invasive test that allows knowing their iron levels, thus preventing people with anemia from donating).

The purpose of said recognition is to identify and rule out people whose donation may pose a risk to their health or to the health of the recipient of the transfusion.

For this reason, only those people who, after the examination described, denote a good state of health, will be accepted as donors.

  • Extraction: 450 ml of blood are collected with sterile, single-use material.

It is a safe amount that can be extracted from a person who weighs 50 kilos.

It is performed in a closed system of quadruple bags containing anticoagulant fluid and preservatives.

During the extraction, the bag remains on a scale whose mission is to shake the blood to mix it with the anticoagulant liquid and control the volume of the extraction.

after donating

As the blood must be regenerated by the body, what is recommended, after the donation process, is to ingest plenty of fluids, water and natural juices, as well as eat red meat and dairy foods.

After the donation it is necessary to remain at rest for about 10-15 minutes.

Drink plenty of fluids and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol for two hours after donating. Hot environments or strenuous sports or activities should be avoided at least until the next day.

At the same time, it is recommended not to carry out activities that involve a lot of effort for the next 4 hours.nor practice activities that require balance or be exposed to height.

Similarly, it is not recommended to drink alcoholic beverages during the next 24 hours or smoke during the next 5 hours after the donation.

If any discomfort such as fever, diarrhea or vomiting occurs within a week after donating blood, it is recommended to contact the Donation Center and report the symptoms.

Spanish Red Cross

The Spanish Red Cross (CRE) It is a humanitarian institution, of a voluntary nature and of public interest.

It develops its activity under the protection of the Government of Spain and the High Patronage of the Kings of Spain. It is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Its purpose is to alleviate human pain through immediate care according to each particular situation.

In May 1960, Dr. Juan Picazo Guillén, Head of the Transfusion Services of the Spanish Red Cross, founded the Madrid Red Cross Blood Donation Center, in order to promote altruistic and disinterested blood donation, which in that time was still paid.

The original location of the Center was located at C/ Francisco Silvela, 91. It was about 430 m² useful facilities.

It is then configured as a body dependent on the General Medical Inspection and governed by the General Organic Regulation of the Spanish Red Cross

Internal Organization of the Spanish Red Cross

The Spanish Red Cross has a federal structure, composed of Local, Regional, Autonomous Assemblies and a Central (national).

Every four years the President of the Spanish Red Cross, in accordance with the agreements of the National Committee, calls elections for the renewal of the Institution’s governing, advisory and control bodies.

Individuals, active members (volunteers) or subscribers (Red Cross members), over 16 years of age and registered in the corresponding census and in accordance with the other requirements of the General Organic Regulation, may exercise the right to vote. .

Among the members of the regional Assemblies, the members of the Committees are elected, which, structured in territorial areas, constitute the organs of government:

  • locally Local, County or Island Committees are constituted.
  • Provinciallythe Provincial Committees.
  • autonomouslythe Autonomous Committees.
  • statelythe General Assembly and the National Committee that elects the highest representative of the Institution: the President of the Spanish Red Cross.

Likewise, the General Assembly elects the members of the control and advisory bodies: the National Commission for Guarantees of Rights and Duties and the National Finance Commission.

Humanitarian Campaigns

This blood donation campaign coordinated by the Transfusion Center of the Community of Madrid in 22 public hospitals, aims to raise awareness, capture and almost lead the donation room by the hand.

«If you are over 18 years old, weigh more than 50 kilos and are healthy, come whatever you come to donate» is the motto. For Madrid to remain self-sufficient, 900 donations/day are required.

The message It is aimed at people who come to visit or accompany a sick family member; to those whose illness does not prevent them from donating and even to hospital staff.

The campaign also seeks greater visibility and presence of blood donation in hospitals where every day in all services, there are patients who need a transfusion.

In total, we can estimate that around 80,000 people from Madrid a year require transfusions that can save their lives.

Hospital Marathons

The community of Madrid will carry out special marathons to donate blood in the following hospitals with their days and hours of operation:

  • HU Móstoles – November 13 – 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • HU Tagus – November 14 – 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • HU Puerta de Hierro – November 14 and 15 – 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • HU Infanta Leonor – November 19 – 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • HU Príncipe Asturias – November 20 – 9:00 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.
  • HU Ramón y Cajal – November 21 and 22 – 8:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.
  • HU October 12 – November 27.
    8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. General Residence.
    8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. AA Ambulatory Center.
  • HU Infanta Cristina – November 29 – 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • HU Southeast – December 4 – 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • HU La Princesa – December 11 – 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • HU Severo Ochoa – December 12 – 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • HU Infanta Sofía – Thursday, December 13 – 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
    Friday, December 14 – 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • HU Getafe – December 20 – 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Where to go to donate blood in Spain?

The centers where you can donate blood in Spain are the following:

  • alcobendas

    Brussels Avenue 30
    Office hours: 9:45 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

  • Collado Villalba

    Plaza los belgas jto courts
    Attention hours: 10:00 a.m. to 1:50 p.m.

  • fuenlabrada

    Calle Leganes 51
    Attention hours: 17:00 to 20:45

  • the slashes

    Castilla la mancha street, under street walkway
    Attention hours: 17:00 to 21:00

  • leganes

    King Juan Carlos I Avenue 94
    Attention hours: 17:00 to 20:45

  • Madrid

    Calle Juan Montalvo, 3

    Guzmán el bueno station-lines 6 and 7
    Cuatro caminos station – lines 1,2 and 6
    Bus: C1, 45, 2 and 202

  • Madrid

    Sun Gate
    Attention hours: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

  • Majadahonda

    Plaza Jardinillos
    Attention hours: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

  • improved
    Salvador Dali Avenue
    Attention hours: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • I paint

    David Martin Square
    Attention hours: 17:00 to 20:45

  • rivas vaciamadrid

    Foundry street s/n
    Attention hours: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

  • Saint Sebastian of the kings

    Calle gomera 9 polygon ind. North
    Attention hours: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

  • Torrejon

    Cross Street 21
    Attention hours: 9:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

  • Three songs

    Industry Avenue 23
    Attention hours: 10:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

  • Valdemoro

    from Andalusia km. 25
    Attention hours: 16:00 to 19:45

  • Villanueva de la Canada

    Christ Street, 27
    Attention hours: 17:15 to 20:45

Who can’t donate blood?

  • Pregnant women
  • People over 65 years of age, except if they have medical authorization.
  • People who carry diseases such as HIV.
  • People suffering from arterial hypertension.
  • People suffering from Hepatitis B or C.
  • People suffering from epilepsy.
  • People who suffer from asthma or other similar diseases.

Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 can donate blood as long as their parents or representatives give their consent.

What is done with the donated blood?

Blood is processed within 24 hours of donation, as follows:

  • Division: It consists of the separation of blood into its three fundamental components; concentrated red blood cells, plasma and platelets.
  • Red blood cells: They carry oxygen. They are used to treat acute anemia secondary to blood loss after surgery or trauma and chronic anemia. Store at 4ºC for up to 42 days.
  • Plasma: It is the liquid part of the blood and contains the coagulation factors. It is used to correct bleeding problems due to coagulation defects. It is also used by the pharmaceutical industry to make vaccines and some medicines. Stores up to 2 years frozen.
  • Platelets: they are small cellular corpuscles that initiate the coagulation process. They are mainly used in patients with cancer and organ transplants. It is stored at 22 degrees for 7 days.
  • Analysis: At the same time that the blood is divided, tests are carried out to identify the blood group, Rh, and detection of infectious diseases. HIV, HBV, HCV, Syphilis.

These analyzes do not detect recently contracted infections, because the person is in the so-called window period. Therefore it is recommended to avoid donating blood if it is suspected that you may be infected.

You can ask the doctor/nurse during the interview, anonymously at the Email, or if you prefer, in case of doubt, you can go to the following address where a confidential analysis can be carried out: C/ Sandoval nº 7, Phone: 91 445 87 58.

The health center has the obligation to inform in the event that any of the tests on the donation reveal any significant anomaly for the health of the donor.

The detection of a positive result in any of the diseases transmitted by blood will mean the exclusion as a donor and the destruction of the products obtained from the donation.

Benefits of donating blood

In addition to saving lives, donating blood can bring many benefits to the health of the donorHere are the most relevant benefits:

  • The organism is rejuvenated, since when it detects that the fluid level is reduced, the body generates new cells and gives way to clean and fresh blood.
  • Iron levels are balanced due to the donation, causing a natural renewal in the body when the individual proceeds to eat.
  • It has been found that with donation, blood flows in a way that is less damaging to the lining of blood vessels, meaning less arterial blockage and less risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • In order to donate blood it is necessary to check pulse, pressure, hemoglobin levels among other values, this is summarized in a basic medical examination.
  • It has been proven that people who donate altruistically have a lower risk of dying than those who are «forced», according to a study published in the journal Health Psychology.
  • It contributes to the growth and development of blood banks, which in most cases need to be stocked and promoted.

How often can you donate blood?

The law establishes that blood donations can be made every 8 weeks as minimum, having the prior medical evaluation required to validate the health status of the individual donor.

Men can donate up to 4 times in a calendar year, and women up to 3. This difference is not in a discriminatory way, but to compensate the losses that women have due to the menstrual period.

How much blood is donated?

Legally, up to 13% of a person’s total blood volume can be removed. However, due to the standardization of the blood bags commonly used, 450cc are extracted, which is the maximum amount that can be extracted from a person weighing 50 kilos without causing them any harm.

Consequences of donating blood

Physically it has no negative effects.

In very isolated cases, dizziness occurs when donating blood, usually in those people who are more emotional. A common myth indicates that donating blood causes weakness, which is false.

The amount of blood extracted is around 400-450ml, both for men and women, therefore it does not affect the health or strength of the person.

This is certified through the previous study that is carried out before proceeding with the donation, in which the hemoglobin levels that indicate the amount of red blood cells are determined and therefore it will be possible to determine if the levels are sufficient to carry out the donation with normal.

After the donation, most donors are perfectly fine, however it is necessary to know some of the adverse effects that can occur during or after the donation:

  • Dizziness or vasovagal reaction: It is a rare problem, easy to recover from, it is more frequent in the 1st donation. It is accompanied by a drop in blood pressure, and is prevented by drinking plenty of fluids before donating.
  • Puncture point problems: During the donation we can find problems at the puncture point that lead to the formation of a hematoma. This problem may be due to the channeling of a vein that is too fine. When this happens, we cannot continue the donation.
  • The nurse will recommend the appropriate measures for the care of the affected area. It is important not to carry weight and maintain a compression bandage for 24 hours to avoid the extension of the hematoma, which in some cases can be severe.
  • nerve injury: It is a very rare side effect that occurs if a nerve root adjacent to the puncture site is accidentally punctured. In these cases, the donor usually reports hand numbness, which resolves quickly and spontaneously.

In the event that after the donation, you present some complication or disease or remember any relevant information not stated during the interview, it is very important that you inform us about it in order to assess whether the products obtained are unsuitable for transfusion.

Frequent questions

Blood donation itself produces certain questions in society, below we detail and explain the questions most frequently raised by blood donors:

  • Can you donate blood with tattoos?

Indeed, yes, as long as a year has elapsed since it was carried out.

  • Can you donate blood having had hepatitis?

People who had hepatitis before the age of 10 can donate without any problem.

  • Can you donate recently vaccinated blood?

It will depend on the vaccine and the level of exposure to the disease that is intended to be avoided. For example, people vaccinated against attenuated viruses or bacteria will be excluded from the donation system for four weeks. In cases such as the rabies vaccine or the tick encephalitis vaccine, unexposed healthy persons are not excluded.

  • Can you donate blood having recently had a fever?

Patients with a flu-like condition or fever above 38º should wait two weeks after the disappearance of symptoms to be able to donate blood. In the case of other infectious diseases such as brucellosis, osteomyelitis, Q fever, rheumatic fever and tuberculosis; patients must wait two years from the moment of healing to be able to donate. In the case of toxoplasmosis, this period is reduced to six months and in the case of syphilis it is one year.

  • Can you donate blood having recently undergone surgery?

In the case of major surgery, the patient will have to wait six months until they can donate blood from the moment of the operation. This period is the same for people who have undergone a tissue or cell transplant, have received a transfusion of blood components, have undergone an endoscopy or have suffered a splash of blood to the mucosa.

  • Can you donate blood having traveled to endemic areas?

Asymptomatic people who have visited an endemic area will be excluded for six months from the blood donation system.

Those who present a febrile condition after visiting that area will not be able to donate during the three years following the disappearance of the symptoms.

People who leave an area where cases of West Nile virus transmission to humans are detected will be excluded for 28 days from the possibility of donating blood.

In addition, people who have lived in a malarious area during their first five years of life or have a history of malaria will be excluded for three years after returning from their last visit to the endemic area as long as they do not present symptoms.

  • Can you donate blood with high cholesterol?

Yes, people with high cholesterol can donate blood without any problem.

We hope you help out and save a life. Follow the steps and Requirements to donate blood in Spainyou will not regret.

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