Sunday, September 21, 2008

Myths and Realities About Blood Donation

There are many myths and rumours spread about the blood donation, about the procedure and about the donors' health after donation. Here are some realities about the same.

Myth #1: Someone else will donate all the blood that's needed.
Reality #1: If only it were true. More than 10 million units of blood are required annually in the country against which only half of it is being procured. Lakhs of people, including accident victims, those suffering from various ailments and women during the childbirth, are dying annually in the country for want of blood.

Myth #2: It hurts.
Reality #2: Okay, maybe it does a little just like the mosquito bite. Far less than getting body pierced or tatooed, though, and only briefly. And remember that donating blood hurts a lot less than having someone you care about need blood and not get it because it's not there.

Myth #3: I don't have time.
Reality #3: It doesnot take long: about 30 minutes in all from arrival to departure.

Myth #4: They ask embarassing questions.
Reality #4: Okay, some of the questions are personal, but they have to be. The screening personnel are very professional and are not judgmental. Their only goal is to ensure a safe blood supply for the patients and a safe donation experience for the donors.

Myth #5: I might get some infection from donating.
Reality #5: In the standerd blood banks and donation camps, donations are drawn using sterile equipment that is disposed of after a single use, and the professionals who draw your blood wear sterile latex gloves that are disposed of immediately after use on a single patient. At no time will you come in contact with any piece of equipment or material that has had contact with someone else's blood or body fluids.

Myth #6: I take medication, so I can't donate.
Reality #6: Maybe you're right. Maybe you're not. Because the screening personnel asks about all the medications you are taking beofre hand. And if he feels that you are inappropriate for donation you are informed and blood is not taken.

Myth #7: I'm too old or I'm too young.
Reality #7: There is no upper age limit for donation. So long as you are healthy and weigh at least 45 kilogrammes, you can continue to donate as a lifelong contribution to the community.
Maybe you are too young, if you are under 18. But once you turn 18, if you're healthy and weigh at least 45 kilogrammes, you can make a real grown-up contribution to the community.

Myth #8: They will take too much of my blood and and I will feel weak.
Reality #8: The truth is that the amount they take is fixed to mere 450 mL. In general, no feeling of dizziness aur weakness is experienced by the donors. Also, new blood forms in the body very quickly and recovered in 2-3 days.

So the next time you get the opportunity to donate blood, feel free to do so. Be a regular donor(You can safely give blood every three months) and save lives. After all, sitting, talking and thinking about something doesnot help, if you didnot do anything for the same. Go, change something around you.

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