Should older adults stay away from blood donation camps?

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Saving someone’s life by donating blood is quite noble, and almost everyone can donate, whether they are young adults or the elderly. There is a common misconception that people above 60 years of age cannot donate blood. It is not true, they very well can. However, there are certain criteria that one must fulfill in order to be eligible for donating work.

· Age: Donors should be between 18 to 65 years of age.
· Weight: Donor must weigh at least 45kgs.
· Haemoglobin levels: Should be around 12.5 grams.

The specific about the age criteria is where the misconception of the age limit stems from. While any first-time donors should not be over 60 years of age, repeat donors have the upper age limit of 65 years. Besides this, if you are elderly with good health, both physical as well as mental, then you can easily donate blood. While in some countries, even 16 and 17-year olds are permitted to donate blood if they fulfill the hepatological and physical criteria. Some countries also allow people over 65 to donate blood, provided they get consent from a physician for the same.

There are certain situations where a donor might be temporarily deferred even after fulfilling the aforementioned criteria. These include:
· Any major or minor level of surgery of major or minor levels with or without blood transfusion.
· Cancer or open-heart surgery (permanently deferred)
· In case of heart disease (permanently deferred)
· Epilepsy, Schizophrenia, Convulsions (permanently deferred)
· Mental health issues like anxiety and mood disorders
· Migraines
· Chronic liver disease/ liver failure (permanently deferred)
· Any kind of infectious disease like typhoid, tuberculosis, and measles

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