14th of June is observed as World Blood Donor day and the theme this year is Give Blood, Give Now, and Give Often. Most people do not donate blood because of the misconceptions associated with it. Dr Seema Sinha, Head, Department of Transfusion Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Noida, shares a few facts about blood donation.
Women cannot donate blood. But if the haemoglobin levels of a woman are above 12.5 g% and she is not having her periods, not pregnant or breastfeeding, she can donate blood without any harm.
If you are suffering from diabetes, you can't donate blood. If your blood glucose levels are within control either through diet or by medications, you can donate blood. However, if you are on insulin, the it is not advised to donate blood.
A lot of blood is taken at the time of donation. In reality, only 350 ml of blood is withdrawn and our body has around 5.5 litres of blood. Moreover, the blood volume is restored within 24 hours after donation.
Blood donation is a time-consuming process. All it takes to donate blood is 10 – 15 minutes. However, you might be asked to wait for 20 minutes post donation to ensure you do not experience any reaction.
Blood donation causes weakness, headaches and vomiting is a common reason why people do not donate blood. However, if your blood pressure is in control and if you have maintained a gap of at least one hour after your last meal, then you might not feel any of the symptoms.
Most people feel that donating blood is painful, which is not the case. In reailty, it is not painful. However, you might feel a slight pinch due to needle prick.
If I donate blood, I will get infected. Unlike this popular belief, while you donate blood, proper hygiene and sterilisation are maintained, which lowers the risk of infection. Moreover, disposable blood bags are used keeping the safety of donor in mind.
Blood donation lowers your sex drive. Dr Vikas Hegde, Consultant, Transfusion Medicine and Transplant Immunology, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospitals, says it is not true. In fact, if you follow the precautions associated with blood donation, you won't feel drained out.