Published Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Eleven thousand people are
waiting to donate blood

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

More than 11 thousand people have responded to the call of the National Blood Bank to give donations of this vital substance to help further research to finding a cure to covid-19.

"This is a good time to build a culture of blood donation since it is not a need for a moment, it is a constant requirement in the medical and surgical procedures of the Social Security," said Carlos Villata, director of the National Blood Bank.

According to the Bank, the response has been so positive that thousands of people are waiting to get their appointment to donate their blood. Each person will be contacted by a member of the Blood Bank staff in order to set an appointment.

Of the
1,810 fully recovered coronavirus patients reported on Wednesday, almost 200 people have donated plasma. That substance is essential to continue research in search of treatment against covid-19 that is being developed in Social Security and in the Clodomiro Picado Research Institute.

The way the blood samples work is that there is a “useful period” of 35 days after extraction, hence the importance of having a reserve to attend to a large number of procedures it performs in the country's hospitals. In addition, the blood samples provide plasma that has a useful period of one year in the frozen state, the Blood Bank said in its statement.

On Monday, President Carlos Alvarado donated his Type O negative blood. The president is "a universal donor, like 7% of the population," the Bank said in its statement.

According to specialists, the O negative blood Type has no antigens. It is called the "universal donor" Type because it is compatible with any type of blood.

This time all blood types are required to attend any eventuality: O +, A + b + ab + O-, B-, A- and AB-.

Blood banks have also taken precautionary measures in response to the pandemic. People who wish to donate must first request an appointment by calling 506-2280-9952, extension 113 or by WhatsApp via text, 506- 8821-6514.

People interested in donating must be in good health and must meet the following requirements:

• If you have had a cold or symptoms such as fever, cough, sneeze, or malaise, you should wait to donate until after 14 days of recovery.

• Present a national identity card or residence card.

• Be between the ages of 18 to 65.

• Weigh greater than 50 kilos and measure taller than 1.50 meters.

Donating blood is easy, but there are a few recommendations health experts recommend for all repeat and potential donors.

On the day of donating blood, eat a light breakfast of fruits, cookies, bread, jams or jellies, coffee or tea without milk. One should not fast. Also, do not consume fat or dairy.

Approximately 450 milliliters of this vital liquid will be extracted from each donor, which represents about 10% of the volume of blood that each human being possesses. This volume of extracted blood is recovered during the day and therefore the consumption of enough liquids is recommended after each donation.

Each person can donate every three months, that is four times a year.

Have you donated blood in Costa Rica? Send your homemade recipes with a photo of the dish to