20 Myths About Donating Blood

People who are healthy, more than 17 years, weigh more than 110 pounds are eligible to donate blood. But certain medical conditions may prevent some from blood donation. Any individual with any of the problems mentioned below are not eligible to donate blood for temporary period. They must be examined by the physician to decide over their donation. This article also explains about who can donate blood. Read on to know about the myths about donating blood.

Myths About Donating Blood

  • Myth 1: People living on a vegetarian diet lack appropriate amount of iron in them. So they cannot donate their blood.Fact: Vegetarians can also donate blood. A month is enough to replace the loss of iron from the body after donation. The iron is stored in our body from which it is then used. These store is refilled with consumption of balanced diet.
  • Myth 2: It hurts a lot to give blood.Fact: The pain experienced during the donation is not more than that of a needle pricking. A slight soreness may be felt where the needle was inserted.
  • Myth 3: You open your way to HIV and other infections by donating blood.Fact: Sterility is maintained during all steps of donation. A new needle is used at each time of donation and discard after use.
  • Myth 4: Giving blood takes a lot of time.Fact: It is mostly more than an hour for one session.
  • Myth 5: Our body had limited blood. It is not advisable to donate from the point of view of health.Fact: About 470ml of blood is taken out in a session. Our body can make new blood immediately after donation.
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    Our body has more than enough blood which will never affect a body after donation.

  • Myth 6: Age can deter blood donation.Fact: Any fit and healthy person up to the age of 60 can donate blood.
  • Myth 7: Only heavier people should donate blood because they have more blood.Fact: Being overweight does not always mean you have more blood.
  • Myth 8: Health deteriorates after donating blood.Fact: You need to be healthy before donating. Rest a while immediately after donation. Drink enough liquids. All your blood cells will be replaced in few days.
  • Myth 9: Sports or other physical activities will not be possible again after donating blood.Fact: No interference is found on daily activities by giving blood. Try not to be physically exhausted the day you donated blood. You can get back top your track the very next day.
  • Myth 10: You cannot be a blood donor if you are on medication.Fact: It depends entirely on your medication. In most cases, it does not interfere. But do inform your doctor or the nurse before giving out blood.
  • Myth 11: Blood can be manufactured on requirement.Fact: Blood cannot be manufactured. Only healthy individuals can donate blood.
  • Myth 12: You have to be of specific Race to donate blood.Fact: Race, caste, class, creed or sex has nothing to do with your ability to give blood. Everything depends on your health and then your blood type and blood group.
  • Myth 13: Presence of seasonal allergies stop you from giving blood.Fact: Allergies do not interfere with your blood donation. Prefer consulting a doctor always.
  • Myth 14: People with high blood pressure and high cholesterol cannot give blood.Fact: Take advise from your health physician if you have any doubts.
  • Myth 15: Anemic people cannot donate blood.Fact: You may give blood if your hemoglobin levels are normal on your day of donation. Your hemoglobin levels will be checked prior to blood donation.
  • Myth 16: I am afraid of needles so I cannot give blood.Fact: A bit of nervousness is normal in most people. It is just a momentary discomfort.
  • Myth 17: One can donate all the blood that is needed.Fact: Blood is needed every three seconds. A single donation may save three people.
  • Myth 18: We have to answer to embarrassing questions prior to donating blood.Fact: Some personal questions may be asked. Because their only aim is to ensure a safe blood donation and supply.
  • Myth 19: Cancer patients cannot give blood.Fact: Some types of cancer may hold you back from donating. But few cancer patients are also eligible.
  • Myth 20: I have flue shot, I’m diabetic or I have epilepsy, so I cannot give blood.Fact: You can donate blood even after receiving the flue vaccination the same day. If all medical requirements are meant, even diabetics can give blood. You can proceed for a donation if no seizures have occurred for a year.

Who Can Donate Blood?

  • People using any of the intravenous drugs (illegal),
  • Man in relationship with another man,
  • People undergone myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass,
  • Multiple sclerosis patients,
  • Stroke patient,
  • Hepatitic patients(12 months deferral),
  • Hemophiliacs,
  • Before a year of making a tattoo,
  • Having cold symptoms (unless the symptoms like running nose, stuffiness, cough, sore throat etc. are cured completely),
  • People with any STDs (sexually transmitted Disease) – not before an year from the day of cure,
  • If the person is under the effect of alcohol,
  • Not before 4 weeks of discontinuing Accutane/Propecia/Proscar medications.
  • No deferral for people taken anthrax vaccination and are symptom-free,
  • No restrictions for people without any symptoms after taking a complete course of antibiotics.
  • Asthmatic patient may donate if they do not have any symptoms at the time of donation.
  • In case any body piercing is done, you must wait for a year before donation.
  • Some cancer patients like basal or squamous cell cancer can donate blood. But few others need to wait and get checked by the physician.
  • Having Measles or Mumps (3 weeks deferral since immunization is done),
  • Chicken pox demands a 4 weeks deferral from the date of immunization.
  • If under treatment for gonorrhea or syphilis within the past 12 months,
  • Diabetics with controlled blood pressure by diet / medication needs a 2 weeks deferral from day the insulin treatment is started,
  • A seizure must not have occurred for 3 months with or without medication. Then you can donate.
  • Seven days deferral is mandatory in case a Hepatitis B Vaccination is received.
  • If blood pressure is under control due to medications then no deferral is needed.
  • A 12 months deferral is needed from the date of detection of malaria and a visit to a malarial zone.
  • No deferral is needed if the donor has recovered completely from Mononucleosis and the mono was not due to hepatitis or jaundice.
  • You cannot donate blood during Pregnancy.
  • Blood donation can be done only after 6 weeks following delivery or a third trimester miscarriage.
  • No deferral is done after the first or second trimester miscarriage.
  • No restriction is observed with people undergone a Small Pox Vaccination after the development and falling off of the scab.
  • A 3 years restriction is followed after Soriatane.
  • A 12 months deferral is seen among patients who have received serum, plasma or blood.
  • If sutures are removed or dissolved after a surgery; or the wound has completely healed after a surgery; then restrictions are not observed.
  • No restrictions are followed if you have extracted a tooth or have undergone a root canal treatment unless an infection occurs.
  • The people who are born in Cameroon, Congo, Niger, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Gabon or Nigeria since 1977 are indefinitely deferred from donating their bloods.
  • Donors who have visited or lived in the UK for about 3-6 months since 1st January’1980 are also indefinitely deferred from donating blood.

People with any of the conditions mentioned below are permanently restricted to donate blood.

  • HIV +ve detected people,
  • Patients with Chagas disease or Babesiosis,
  • People engaged in prostitution,
  • Under Tegison medication for psoriasis or have used it before,
  • Presence of Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease(CJD) in family or cousins.
  • Unless any identification proof is presented.

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