It’s official. People are afraid of blood donation

Usually, not many people are comfortable with the thought of blood donation. It is not because they are afraid of the needle, but there are several myths that surround blood donation.  In an interesting survey of over 200 people by Dr Sagar Mundada has revealed that people are afraid of donating blood. His survey has concluded that many people have serious misunderstandings and myths surrounding blood donation.

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With an aim to spread awareness around blood donation, Dr Sagar said highlighting the myths can save someone’s life. So, read below and check if you have been harbouring any of the following myths:

Myth 1: Donating blood makes me feel low.

Fact: False. However, many people feel that donating blood makes them feel weak. Again, this isn’t true. The thread of truth here arises from the fact that it takes a day or two to replenish the fluid volume in the body and three months for regeneration of red cells to donate more blood.

Myth: One is advised to take complete rest for a day after donating blood.

Fact: False. One can easily resume his or her normal day-to-day routine after donating blood, but should take care of the following. Drink at least 10-12 glasses of water, including juices within 24 hours after donation. Avoid sun exposure. Avoid driving for the next 2-3 hours. Avoid smoking for next 4 hours. Avoid alcohol for next 24 hours.

Myth: Blood donation is a painful procedure.

Fact: False. Donating blood is not painful at all. One only feels a slight pinching sensation when the needle pricks the arms.

Myth: I should not donate blood frequently; it will make my body weak.

Fact: False. A healthy person can donate blood four times a year with a minimum a 3 months’ gap between each blood donation.

Myth: Donating blood will make me feel stressed with episodes of severe headache and vomiting?

Fact: No, blood donation does not cause episodes of headache and vomiting if the blood pressure of the donor is within normal limits prior to donation.

Myth: I should not donate blood frequently; it will lower my body’s immunity level.

Fact: No, your body’s immunity level is not affected by blood donation.

Myth: Donating blood frequently can affect my blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Fact: No, the blood pressure and blood sugar levels do not fluctuate provided the pre-donation values are within normal limits. A diabetic patient on insulin cannot donate blood

Myth: Can donating blood frequently create iron deficiency in my body?

Fact: No, a healthy individual with good eating habits can donate blood four times a year at a gap of three months. It does not lead to iron deficiency.

Myth: Blood donation takes a lot of time.

Fact: False. The whole procedure of blood donation from the time of registration takes approximately half an hour.

Myth: Can frequent visits to the hospital for donating blood cause some infection?

Fact: No, there is no fear of infection due to blood donation.

Myth: You cannot be a blood donor if you are on any kind of medication.

Fact: Yes, a person on aspirin, antibiotics, anti-hypertensive, steroids, hormones, anticoagulants, on inhalers cannot donate blood.

Myth: Can a pregnant woman donate blood?

Fact: No, pregnant women are not allowed to donate blood.

Myth: Can I donate blood, if I smoke regularly?

Fact: Yes, but abstain from smoking one hour before and after donation

Inputs based on a survey done by Dr Sagar Mundada, PG resident doctor, Department of Psychiatry, Grant Medical College, Mumbai