Donating blood is one of the biggest ways one can contribute to saving a life. More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day, while every two seconds someone needs blood. However, if the thought of donating blood brings chills to your spine, it is most definitely due to the vast list of myths behind it. We are here to bust some of them and give you a list of do’s and don’ts that you must follow when donating blood.
- “Donating blood makes you weak”
An average adult has about 4.5 to 5.5 litres of blood circulating in the body. For blood donation, it is ideal to donate 300 ml of blood. This much amount does not make you weak. The amount of blood you donate is replenished within merely 15 to 20 minutes. One needs to understand that blood can neither be manufactured nor grown in any external environment.
- “I can’t give blood because I’m on medication.”
It is safe to donate blood on almost all types of medication, as long as you are healthy and when the condition you are being treated for is under control.
- “Regular blood donation may lead to obesity.”
False. Donating blood does not affect your body weight. However, some people, after blood donation, eat more food than normal and avoid exercise which may cause weight gain but it is not directly connected to blood donation.
- “Vegetarians Cannot Donate Blood.”
One’s dietary preference does not interfere in your choice to be a blood donor. Vegetarians can donate blood. Any human being whose haemoglobin count is more than 12 and fits all the other prerequisites is free to donate blood.
- “I can’t give blood because I have high blood pressure.”
As long as your blood pressure levels are between 180 systolic (top number) and 100 diastolic (bottom number) at the time of blood donation; it is safe for you to donate blood. To that effect, blood pressure medication does not disqualify you from donating blood.
The do’s and don’ts:
- Do donate with a buddy
- Do not donate if you are not feeling well for any reason.
- Do eat a low-fat healthy meal before you donate.
- Do drink plenty of fluids one day before, the day of and one day after your donation.
- Do not smoke immediately before or within one hour after your donation to avoid light-headedness.
- Do not rush through juice and cookies.
- Do not forget to have your haemoglobin checked.
- Do relax! Relax, for even if it is your first time, the Blood Bank staff do this every day!
Most importantly, do motivate others for blood donation by sharing you experience. Make sure others get a feel of this too, encourage and guide them so they don’t make the same mistakes over and over!