Cai Wenjun|2023-06-14
Want to donate blood in China? Here's what you need to know
Want to donate blood in China? Here's what you need to know

What is the age requirement for blood donation in China?

People aged between 18 and 55 years old are encouraged to donate blood. The age limit for repeat donors can be extended up to 60 years old. Donors must meet the requisite health standards, and each blood collection place is supposed to offer free health checkup for donors.

What are the health requirements for donating blood?

1. Weight requirement: at least 50 kilograms for males, and at least 45 kilograms for females.

2. No cold or acute gastroenteritis within one week before donation. No alcohol-drinking within 24 hours.

3. People who has received whole blood or blood products transfusion are not suitable for blood donation within one year.

4. People who has received teeth extraction or minor surgery within two weeks, appendicectomy, herniorrhaphy and tonsil surgery within three months, who have recovered from major surgery within six months can't donate blood.

5. Female during period or three days before and after period, pregnant, who had abortion or miscarriage within six months, child delivery and breastfeeding within one year are not suitable.

6. Those nearsighted with over 6.0 diopters are not advised for blood donation for fear of amotio retinae.

7. Recovery from cold or acute gastroenteritis within one week, from acute urological infection within one month, from pneumonia within three months are not suitable.

8. Recovery from dysentery within six months, from typhoid within one year, from brucellosis within two years, those going to malaria-hit regions within one year or recovery from malaria within three years are not suitable.

What's the process of donating blood?

In Shanghai, blood donation is available at Shanghai Blood Center, blood donation stations in each district and blood-donating vehicles in public places. The WeChat account of Shanghai Blood Center provides address, service time and telephone of each site (in Chinese).

Expatriate donors must bring along the passport. A registration form needs to be filled with real personal information. It has both Chinese and English versions.

Before donation, people need to have a primary health checkup, covering weight, blood pressure, pulse and instant fingertip blood collection for blood type, hemoglobin, transaminase and hepatitis B.

People who fail the check will be refused donation.

After donation, people should rest at the site for at least 15 minutes and will be given a blood donation certificate.

What is the donation quantity and intervals between two donation?

Each donation is between 200 and 400 milliliters of whole blood; one or two units of platelet.

The intervals between two whole blood donation is six months, and two weeks for two platelet donations. The interval between platelet and whole blood donation is four weeks, while it is three months between whole blood and platelet donation.

How long will the blood restore after donation?

After donating 200 to 400 milliliters of blood, the donor's metabolism will speed up and blood stored in organs such as the liver and spleen will enter the blood circulation immediately to keep a balanced circulating blood volume. Plasma proteins are restored within one or two days and red cells and hemoglobin take seven to 10 days to return to the level before donation. The legal interval for whole blood donation is six months and for platelet donation is two weeks.

Is an empty stomach required before blood donation?

People shouldn't keep their stomach empty before donating blood. Donating blood on an empty stomach can cause dizziness and nausea. A proper diet avoiding high-fat food is recommended. If donors feel hungry, they can have refreshments such as biscuits and have a drink before donating.

What to do after donating blood?

Donors should press the eye of the needle for about 10 minutes and keep it dry for at least four hours. Do not use the arm from which the blood was collected to lift heavy items for 24 hours.

Avoid strenuous physical exercise within one or two days of blood donation and keep to a proper diet avoiding eating or drinking too much. If the needle eye swells, apply a cold compress within 24 hours and hot compresses after 48 hours. It will recover in seven to 10 days.