Highlights

  • Blood donation is safe and mostly painless
  • Blood can be donated more than once a year
  • Tattoos and piercings do not affect the blood donation process

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Blood donation: Debunking common myths that stop people from donating blood

Blood donation is a life-saving noble act that can help many people in need.

People across the globe donate over 100 million units of blood every year, as reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in the U.S.

Blood donation is an act of kindness that can save one or many lives. World Health Organisation says that
“The decision to donate your blood can save a life, or even several if your blood is separated into its components — red cells, platelets, and plasma — which can be used individually for patients with specific conditions.”

But there are many myths that prevent people from donating their blood and helping those in need. Let us try and debunk some myths around blood donation to help you understand the process better.

Myth 1: Donating blood can make you sick

A healthy person after donating blood will not fall sick or become weaker than before. Doctors recommend blood donors to rest for a day and drink ample fluids after donating blood. A report by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York says that it takes around 48 hours for a donor’s blood volume to return to normal.

Myth 2: Donating blood is painful

According to National Center for Biotechnology Information in the U.S., following blood donation, there may be some pain at the site of the needle’s entry. Some people may also experience partial bruising but this is usually harmless and disappears in a few days.

Also Read: From vaccination to blood donation: Centre's new Covid-19 guidelines

Myth 3: Blood can be donated only once a year

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York suggests that generally, a donor must wait for a minimum of 56 days between blood donations. However, the duration may vary from person to person so it is advisable to consult a doctor.

Myth 4: People with piercings or tattoos cannot donate blood

The American Red Cross recommends waiting for 3 months after a tattoo if the ink was applied using sterile and state-regulated needles. The same rule is applicable for piercings, as per the NGO.

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