Can we drink blood and blood products

How about a different resolution: Become a blood donor!

Why donate blood?
- You can save 3 lives by doing this in 30 minutes.
- In Belgium we need 500,000 blood bags - every year!
- Because currently nothing can replace blood.

Helping is important. We could all be affected at one point or another.

... and what are 30 minutes? It is definitely worth considering, isn't it?

Especially now at the time of the Corona Virus, many people avoid contact with other people, which means that the blood reserves of the Red Cross are running out.


Who can donate?

Anyone can donate blood that

- healthy is;

- at the age of at least 18 years (attention: the first blood donation must have been made before the day of the 66th birthday. Blood donations beyond the 66th birthday are only allowed if the previous donation was less than 3 years ago);

- that weighs at least 50 kg;

- that has no risk of transmitting infectious diseases.


There are also a number of contraindications: traveling abroad, tattooing, pregnancy and childbirth, dental visits, ... But this is discussed with a local doctor before the donation. Here you can also do a free online check whether you can donate blood:


Donate: What can you donate?


Human blood is an irreplaceable product as there is currently no substitute.

After the blood has been drawn from a donor, the various blood components, i. H. the red blood cells, plasma and platelets are separated and prepared to be transported to hospitals as needed.

By dividing it into 3 blood products, your blood donation can contribute to the care of 3 people.

Red blood cells can be transferred in the following situations: accident situations, surgery, postpartum, for people undergoing chemotherapy, or for people who are anemic, and for genetic diseases.



Blood consists of a solid and a liquid component. The plasma is the liquid part of the blood (composed of 90% water) in which the proteins important for the organism are located. It contains, among other things, immunoglobulins, coagulation factors and albumin.

Certain drugs can only be manufactured from human plasma and are essential for the survival and better well-being of many patients.

The plasma can treat a variety of pathologies, either in its natural form or in the form of medication: immunodeficiencies, coagulation disorders, in the severely burned, operations or after heavy bleeding, ...



Platelets are useful for transplant patients, cancer patients, or those with blood diseases such as leukemia. They are often transmitted after chemotherapy or radiation therapy.


- stem cells

Stem cells are bone marrow cells that make up various blood cells. They are given to patients who have an incurable disease of the bone marrow.



How does a donation work?

When you go to a blood drive or blood collection center, you will be given a medical questionnaire that you need to fill out first. A doctor will then speak to you confidentially and free of charge to assess whether the donation poses no risk to you or the recipient, depending on:

o your current state of health;

o your medical history and previous surgeries;

o the medication you are taking or have taken;

o from trips that you have been on;

o of any risky behavior.


If the doctor gives his approval, you can donate blood. Depending on the blood volume, which is determined based on your weight and size, an average of between 430 ml and 470 ml of blood will be drawn.


The period between 2 donations

The whole blood donation period should be between 2 and 3 months. So theoretically you can donate blood 4 times a year. Platelet concentrate can be donated once a month and plasma every 15 days.

You can find out when and where the next blood donation will take place in your area at



- Eat only light foods before donating

- Drink enough on the day of the blood donation

- You only need to bring your ID with you to the blood donation

After the donation you should take it easy, avoid physical exertion and drink a lot (no alcohol!).


Further information on donating blood can be found on the Red Cross website (