Science 15 Jun 2021 World Blood Donor Da ...

World Blood Donor Day 2021: Busting myths about blood donation

Published Jun 15, 2021, 12:05 am IST
Updated Jun 15, 2021, 12:05 am IST
Myths and rumours about blood donation causes people to often get discouraged about donating blood
Your donation has the power to improve, or even save, someone’s life. (NHS Blood and Transplant)
 Your donation has the power to improve, or even save, someone’s life. (NHS Blood and Transplant)

World Blood Donor Day, observed every year on June 14, is a day celebrated to create awareness regarding the need to donate blood and blood components required for transfusion. However, there are various myths and rumours around blood donation that often lead to people being apprehensive and discouraged to donate blood, despite being completely safe, and prevents a person in need from getting the transfusion resources that they require.

Myth 1: Donating blood makes your immune system weak. Fact: Donating blood has no lasting ill effect. After donating blood, your red and white blood cell count does go down. However, the red blood cells return to its normal count in a few days and the white blood cells take a little longer, but it does replenish itselves in a few weeks. 
Source: Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden


Myth 2: If you smoke, you cannot donate blood. Fact: You can donate blood even if you smoke. The only prerequisites to donating is that you must be over 18 years of age and weigh at least 50kg. However, abstain from smoking for at least three hours after donating blood. 
Source: Hemato Oncologist, Advisory, MediGence

Myth 3: Diabetic people can not donate blood. Fact: Diabetic people who take supplements for their diabetes, like insulin, cannot donate blood. However, a diabetes patient who controls their diabetes with pills and a healthy lifestyle can donate blood without any problems. Similarly, people with high blood pressure with blood pressure between 180 systolic and 100 diastolic can also donate blood. 
Source: Fortis Hospital


Myth 4: Women shouldn’t donate blood. Fact: Women shouldn’t donate blood during and three days after their monthly periods. Other than that, anyone can donate blood and it isn’t limited to any specific gender. Men can only donate blood every three months, and women can donate blood every four months.
Source: National Blood Transfusion Council

Myth 5: People with tattoos cannot donate blood. Fact: This is not true! People with tattoos can donate blood without any problems, provided that they have been approved by a medical examiner. Ideally, you should wait for about 6 months after getting a tattoo before donating blood to allow the tattoo to heal properly and avoid cross-contamination. 
Source: Hemato Oncologist, Advisory, MediGence


Myth 6: Donating blood is a painful process. Answer: Donating blood hurts no more than the prick of a pin. The only lingering pain caused is from the slight soreness in the area where the needle was injected.

Myth 7: Vegetarians should not donate blood. Answer: It is a common misconception that vegetarians should not donate blood as it is usually assumed that they have lesser amounts of iron in their body. However, being a non-vegetarian isn’t a prerequisite for blood donation. As long as you properly supplement your diet with all the important nutrients like iron, a vegetarian can also donate blood. 
Source: Stanford Blood Center


Donating blood is an unselfish and generous act, one that each of us should help out with if we can. Blood and its various components have proven to be extremely useful time and again, like the convalescent plasma therapy that proved to be a life-saver for so many COVID-19 patients. Your donation has the power to improve, or even save, someone’s life.

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