Blood banks are almost always run under strict guidelines governing how much of whose blood they can take and how often they can take it. Blood bank regulations also direct many other concerns, including how blood is to be stored and labeled, and how donors are to be treated. These blood bank regulations and many others exist to guarantee the safety of both donors and recipients of blood. Blood donation is a highly important aspect of modern medical treatment, but it can be more dangerous and harmful than helpful if it is not monitored and controlled properly. Donors can transmit diseases through their blood, and transfusion from an incompatible donor can lead to harm or even death.
The importance of donor safety and comfort is reflected in blood bank regulations. Blood banks must maintain a relatively high volume of donors in order to be useful. They would likely face difficulties in getting individuals to donate blood if the process were particularly painful, dangerous, or unpleasant. As such, blood bank regulations include instructions regarding the manner in which blood is taken. They also require that donors be of a certain age and weight, and have sufficient blood pressure and blood iron content in order to ensure that they do not suffer any detrimental effects from blood donation.
Many blood bank regulations are also intended to ensure that patients who eventually receive donated blood do not suffer from harmful side effects. Donors are first screened to ensure that they do not donate blood if there is a chance they could be carrying any harmful diseases or chemicals in their blood. Individuals who have AIDS, use recreational drugs, or have recently gotten tattoos, for instance, are generally not permitted to donate blood. Blood bank regulations also involve detailed testing of the collected blood to make sure that no one unknowingly donates blood that could harm the eventual recipient.
Further concerns directed by blood bank regulations and aimed at ensuring the safety of the eventual blood recipient are the labeling and storage of donated blood. Improperly stored blood may be useless or even harmful to patients. It is very important that donated blood is labeled correctly, as blood from an incompatible donor can cause a great deal of harm to a patient in need of blood. Blood donation is very important, but without proper blood bank regulations, it can cause substantial harm by spreading disease or by allowing transfusions of incompatible blood.