Costa Rica is the second country in Central America where there are more blood donors; only surpassed by El Salvador, but the Blood Bank (Banco de Sangre) of our country requires much more donations.
According to the Report “Blood supply for transfusions in Latin American and Caribbean countries 2016-2017” carried out by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), 16.1 out of every 1,000 Costa Ricans give life through donating blood.
This is the average of donors per 1,000 inhabitants:
- El Salvador: 16.2
- Costa Rica: 16.1
- Panama: 13.9
- Nicaragua: 13.8
- Honduras: 9.2
- Guatemala: 8.5
The study establishes that the culture of blood donation is closely associated with the socioeconomic conditions of the countries, “donation in the region increases directly proportional to the income level of each country,” the document published on May 28 cites.
Regarding the age of the donors, in the two years analyzed, the group between 24 and 44 years predominated with 38.1% in 2016 and 41.9% in 2017. Secondly, donors under 24 years of age were 37.5% in 2016 and 30.6% in 2017.
The age group from 45 to 65 years old represented 22.9% of donors in the region in 2016 and 24.8% in 2017. The least represented age group was made up of those over 65, who represented 1.5% of donors in 2016 and 2.7% in 2017 ″, the report cites.
Donating blood in times of pandemic
Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) authorities and the National Blood Bank have extended hours and scheduled appointments to collect the largest number of bags; Four different components can be separated from each of them.
Some seasons – such as Easter and holidays – are a challenge for the blood bank. But it precisely those times are when the need for blood increases, especially due to traffic accidents.
Confinement from the COVID-19 pandemic is causing shortages of blood, and cancer or emergency patients cannot wait.
That is why, more than ever, Costa Ricans are being asked to donate blood.
Added to this is the possibility that patients recovered by COVID-19 can donate the blood component with which convalescent plasma is made to treat those who still have the virus and are hospitalized.
How to donate
Donating blood is simple. First, one must have the desire to help other people voluntarily and without receiving any type of financial recognition (payment) in exchange for donating.
If you want to donate, there a few requirements:
- Age: 18 to 65 years.
- Weigh more than 50.0 kilos and a height of more than 1.50 meters
- Do not fast. Do not consume fats (butter, custard, sausage, salami, egg, bacon, etc). Do not consume dairy (milk, yogurt, cheeses). Eat cookies, bread, jams or jellies, coffee or tea without milk. In case of eating something heavy, you must wait between 2 and 3 hours, after the meal, to be able to donate.
- Indispensable to carry your cedula or residency card The document must be current (not expired) and in good condition (with visible photograph)
- Be in good health. Not have had a cold in the last 15 days and or any physical problem or illness that you currently suffer from. If you take medication, remember to inform the doctor, remember the name of the medicines, and the reason why they are prescribed.
- If you have had tattoos or pierced ears, you should wait a year.
- If you are a woman, you must inform if you are in the menstruation period to assess the condition. You must not be pregnant. After childbirth or abortion, you must wait 6 to 9 months to donate, depending on the situation or if you breastfeed
- You should consume fluids a day or two before donating. Ideally water and natural soft drinks. On the day of the donation try to drink one or two glasses of water about 30 minutes before donating.
Donate blood today.