Things to know about Blood Donation – Myths vs Facts
World Blood Donor Day is celebrated every year on 14th of June, to thank all the blood donors who have saved millions of lives. The day also embarks in encouraging people to participate in blood donation voluntarily.
In India, we celebrate National Voluntary Blood Donation Day on the 1st of October, to create awareness about the importance of blood donation.
Why do we have to give such a great amount of importance to blood gift?
In India, every two seconds a person requires blood. India needs four crore units of blood every year but only mere 40 lakh units are available.
This blog addresses the common myths that are preventing the people from coming forward and donating blood regularly and lays out facts regarding blood donation.
Blood donation hurts Vs Needle prick is the only pain.
Does giving blood hurt?
Actually, the needle hurts. The needle prick is the only pain and lasts for just a few seconds while donating blood. A small prick on your forearm is the only mark that a needle leaves behind in blood donation. The needle prick area on the arm heals within a day or two days. The weakness post donating blood can be dealt with by drinking plenty of water, refreshments and eating fruits.
Affects your health Vs Body produces new cells.
It is a common myth in people, but if you’re healthy before donating blood, then you’ll not face any recovery issues after donating. You’ll be advised to take rest for a while after donating. Drink enough fruit juices, mineral contents and liquids within a couple of hours. In fact, the body produces new cells even faster after the blood donation than before.
Will I get coronavirus from blood donation/ transfusion Vs Not a single case of COVID-19 has been reported anywhere in the world.
Not a single case of COVID-19 has been reported anywhere in the world from the act of giving blood or from transfusion. In fact, during the lockdown, the blood shortage happens due to the misconception of the COVID spread due to blood donation.
If you smoke, you cannot be a blood donor Vs Avoid smoking for three hours after donating blood.
You can donate even if you are a smoker. However, the only thing is you should avoid smoking for three hours after donating blood and you must be at least 18 years old and weigh at least 50 kilograms.
However, Smoking is injurious to health and causes cancer.
If you drink alcohol, you cannot be a blood donor Vs Stay away from alcohol for 24 hours prior to donating blood.
You can donate blood even if you have a habit of drinking alcohol. However, the only thing is you should avoid drinking for 24 hours before donating blood and you must be at least 18 years old and weigh at least 50 kilograms. However, drinking liquor is injurious to health.
Donating blood makes the immune system weak Vs No such lasting danger to the immune system.
With the donation of blood, there is no such lasting danger to the immune system. While the Red Blood Cells form in the human body to normal count within a few days of blood donation, the White Blood Cells take a few weeks. However, if the body finds itself in danger, the WBC’s can be produced quickly.
Time-consuming Vs 45 minutes to an hour.
The donation process itself takes barely 15 – 20 minutes, but the entire process for the procedure from filling out forms to taking refreshments after donation takes that amount of time. Whole Blood donation procedure takes 45 minutes to an hour only.
Weight – Heavier vs lighter.
Donating blood has nothing to do with your body weight. Only a person below the weight of 50 kgs. would probably have to face relatively more weakness issues than a person who is above.
HIV can be contracted by giving blood Vs Giving blood doesn’t invite HIV.
Medical staff uses a new needle. Hence there is no chance of being infected with HIV or any other infection. Giving blood doesn’t invite HIV. Before giving blood, check the hygiene of the blood donation place. Make sure that the needle being used is fresh. That’s it! New sterilized needles are used for every blood donation and are discarded immediately after one use. So, chances of developing any kind of infection – viral or bacterial – are zero.
I can only donate once a year. Vs You can give blood after 56 days of donation.
Your blood replenishes itself, but not all at once. A healthy person’s body replaces the plasma you lost within 24 hours. In a healthy person’s body, the Red blood cells generally take about four to six weeks to be completely replenished. You must wait at least 56 days between donations of whole blood.