Fact-check: 3 common myths about blood donation

Fact-check: 3 common myths about blood donation

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Healthy adults can donate blood regularly. Not age, but health condition determines whether or not you are eligible to be a blood donor.

Blood donation is equated with the gift of life. Yet several prevailing myths about this noble act often dissuade well-meaning people from donating blood. In response to reader queries, First Check debunks the three most common myths about blood donation. 

Myth 1: Donating blood will lead to weakness/sickness. 

Fact: While there is a possibility that one may feel fatigued after donating blood, the feeling dissipates once the bodily fluids are replenished. The blood volume returns to normal within 48 hours. Effectively, the donor is restored to his/her normal health condition within a short span after donating blood. It’s advisable to avoid strenuous activity for the day though. 

Myth 2: Blood donation is not safe.

Fact: Blood banks place great emphasis on the safety of the donor and recipient. The screening process of the donor is fairly stringent and the donor is checked for prevalence of conditions such as anemia, HIV, malaria, and hepatitis. Further, the needle and blood bag used to collect blood come in a sterile pack that cannot be reused, making the process as safe as possible.

Myth 3: Only young people can donate blood. 

Fact: In most countries, individuals aged 18 to 65 years are eligible to donate blood provided they meet all the other health criteria. More than your age, it’s your health condition that determines whether or not you are eligible to be a blood donor. Individuals on certain medications, such as anticoagulants or blood thinners, may not be eligible. Typically, blood donation by frequent elderly donors is considered to be safe. Due to lack of data, though, caution may be exercised when dealing with those above 75 years of age. 

Healthy adults can donate blood regularly – at least twice a year, according to the World Health Organization. Don’t let myths and unfounded fears dissuade you from giving the gift of life. 

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