Every two seconds someone needs blood in India and each year our nation requires about 4 Crore units, out of which only a meagre 40 Lakh units of blood are available. Myths about blood donation stop potential donors from considering donating. This World Blood Donation Day, we aim to bust these myths so you can make an informed choice about blood donation. Here are some things to know about blood donation :
#1: You can’t donate blood if you’re diabetic.
If you take insulin, you are not eligible to donate. The rationale is that donating could interrupt the glucose control of the body, and potentially lead to a hypoglycemic reaction in the clinic or on the way home.
If you manage your diabetes with lifestyle or diabetes pills, you may be eligible, depending on your overall health. Many people who have type 2 diabetes have blood pressure and heart problems, which would prevent them from donating. It is one of the most important things to know about blood donation
#2: You can’t donate blood if you’re a smoker.
Smokers are indeed eligible to donate, but there are a variety of other eligibility guidelines for donation that you should learn about. In general, to give blood you must be healthy, at least 17 years old and weigh at least 50 Kilograms.
After donating, it is recommended you avoid smoking for at least 3 hours and not consume alcohol for 24 hours.
#3: Donating blood is painful.
Among other important things to know about blood donation, this one is crucial. Giving blood does not hurt. There is a slight prick when they put in the needle, and then you don’t feel much of anything during the donation; maybe an odd feeling in your arm, where the needle is inserted. But if you look away, it’s pretty easy to ignore. The site where they stick the needle heals in a couple of days.
Only some people feel faint afterwards. Eat and have plenty of water when you go to donate, then the probability of fainting is less likely to happen.
#4: Immune system becomes weak when you donate blood.
Research has found that other than a temporary drop in certain immune cells, like circulating serum proteins and antibodies. Red Blood Cells return to normal within a few days and White Blood Cells in a few weeks. If the body needs more antibodies in the bloodstream, it will produce them extremely quickly therefore there is no danger to the immune system.
#5: It takes a long time to donate blood.
All it takes is 45 minutes to one hour to donate. The donation procedure itself takes about 10 to 12 minutes. But it also takes time to fill out the donor registration form, has a donor history/mini-medical exam, and rest and enjoy refreshments following a donation.
Remember that giving blood is giving the gift of life to someone else. Go ahead, donate blood and save a life!