World Blood Donor Day is celebrated every year on June 14 to thank blood donors who save lives every day. It also encourages people all over the world to donate blood voluntarily. It is one of the 8 global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).
we need to donate blood because every 2 seconds, a person requires blood.
There are some very common myths regarding blood donation that prevent people from coming forward and donating blood regularly.
Let’s bust 13 myths that hold you back from being a blood donor
Myth 1: Blood donation hurts
Fact: The needle prick is the only pain one feels when donating blood. The area on the arm heals within a day or two. The weakness post donating blood can be dealt with by drinking plenty of water and eating.
Myth 2: If you smoke, you cannot be a blood donor
Fact: You can donate even if you are smoker. However, you must be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 50 kilograms. Also, you should avoid smoking for three hours after donating blood and also stay away from alcohol for 24 hours.
Myth 3: Donating blood makes the immune system weak
Fact: There is no such lasting danger to the immune system when you donate blood. While the Red Blood Cells return to normal within a few days, the White Blood Cells take a few weeks, However, if the body finds itself in danger, they can be produced quickly.
Myth 4: Blood donation is time consuming
Fact: Blood donation takes 45 minutes to an hour, only. The donation process itself takes barely 10-12 minutes, but the entire process from filling out forms to taking refreshments after donation takes that amount of time.
Myth 5: Blood donors become obese
Fact: Blood donation doesn’t affect your body weight at all, it remains unchanged unless you decide to reward yourself with too much junk post-donation — and that, my friend, is your responsibility and has nothing to do with blood donation, so stop finding excuses.
Myth 6: People who weigh heavier are eligible for donating blood, those who weigh lighter aren’t
Fact: What even? As long as you weigh above 50 kgs, donating blood has nothing more to do with your weight — only because a person below that weight would probably have to face relatively more weakness issues than a person who is above 50 kgs. Also, your weight has nothing to do with the amount of blood your body produces!
Myth 7: If you’re diabetic, blood donation isn’t for you
Fact: You cannot donate blood only and only if you take supplements to fix your diabetes, like insulin. You CAN donate blood if you control your diabetes with the help of lifestyle changes and pills. Those who have heart problems and blood pressure from type 2 diabetes, however, might not be able to donate in exceptional cases.
Myth 8: High BP patients cannot be blood donors
Fact: Those with blood pressure between 180 systolic and 100 diastolic can very well donate blood. This frame might be considered high, but it does not isolate you from donating blood. Moreover, blood pressure medicines do not interfere with the process at all.
Myth 9: People with seasonal allergies don’t qualify for donating blood
Fact: Seasonal allergies do not interfere with blood donation, just like any other mild cold and cough does not affect your daily routine. So, “I have a cold,” is an absolutely lame excuse for not giving your blood to someone who needs it.
Myth 10: Blood donation isn’t for women
Fact: Well, whatever is ever FOR women? No, seriously, how does blood have anything to do with gender? That women bleed every month anyway, so they shouldn’t? The logical argument could be that women have a lower haemoglobin count than men due to their biological setup. Women naturally survive in lower haemoglobin levels. So, blood donation affects them the same way that it would affect a man. Thus, unless women are pregnant, lactating, anaemic, or suffering from some medical issue that lowers haemoglobin count — they can donate blood.
Myth 11: A blood donor is prone to infections
Fact: A fresh needle is used for each blood donor. So, there is no chance of an infection that is usually assumed to be transferred from needles — like HIV — from blood donation.
Myth 12: One day of rest is needed after donating blood
Fact: You can resume your daily activities almost right after donating blood as long as you make sure you drink enough water and juices to replenish your body fluids. You should also avoid alcohol and direct sunlight for 24 hours. But, donating blood doesn’t give you enough of an excuse to bunk your daily chores!
Myth 13: Blood donation isn’t for vegetarians
Fact: It’s usually assumed that vegetarians have lesser amounts of iron in their bodies, which is directly linked to our body’s haemoglobin. However, your choice of a vegetarian or non-vegetarian diet doesn’t decide your eligibility for blood donation. Although meat-based foods are typically higher in iron count which is responsible for the haemoglobin creation, the Indian vegetarian’s diet has a lot of sources for adequate iron such as green leafy veggies.