June 14th is World Blood Donor Day. This week’s Medical Myths will be focusing on the myths and misconceptions surrounding blood donation.
The United States has more than 13.2 MillionTrusted Source blood donor. People donate more than 100,000,000Trusted Source blood units each year worldwide.
Blood can only be stored for a short time so it is important to encourage regular blood donation. The World Health Organization’s Trusted Source explains this:
“Donating blood can save lives, or several lives, if blood is separated into its components, red cells, platelets and plasma. These can then be used for specific patients.
Medical News Today interviewed Dr. James F. Kenny is the associate chair of Staten Island University Hospital’s Department of Emergency Medicine. He spoke out about the important role of donated blood in society.
Patients who have had major trauma, have undergone surgery, have chemotherapy or have bone marrow disease often require blood transfusions to survive. Every 2 seconds, a blood product is transfused in the United States. That’s 21 million transfusions a year!
A person who was healthy before they donated blood will not be less healthy afterwards. Doctors recommend that donors rest for at least one day after donation. However, this does not put the health of those individuals in danger.
An individual’s blood volume will return to normal within 48 hours after donating. This is primarily due to an increase in plasma. The body will recover all the red blood cells that were lost within 4-8 weeks.
MNT spoke to Dr. Emanuel T. Ferro (Ph.D.) is a pathologist at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center and director of Transfusion Medicine at MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center. Long Beach, CA. We were told by him:
Blood donation is very safe. Most blood donors can donate a pint in under 15 minutes. This is after they have completed a questionnaire about their health and had a mini physical. Rare are donor reactions.”
Although side effects are possible, it is not impossible to know for certain. Dr. MNT was told by John Raimo (chair of medicine at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, Queens, NY).
It is possible to feel lightheaded or tired afterward. These symptoms will disappear on their own. However, you might want to drink water and have a snack to aid. Your arm may feel tender or bruised.
MNT was told by Dr. Kenny that people of lower body weight and younger people are more likely feel lightheaded. However, fluids can usually be avoided before donating.
It is false. The U.S. allows people who are older 16 years and more than 110 pounds (50 kg) to give blood.
However, it is important to note that rules vary in different countries. In the United Kingdom, for example, donors must be between 17 and 66 years . People who have given blood previously can still donate blood up to the age 70.
If you are over 70 and have given blood within the last 2 years, you may still be eligible to donate.
It is only a partial truth. Don’t donate blood to anyone who is taking anticoagulants, antiplatelet medication, or some acne treatments.
In most cases, however, medication does not mean that someone cannot donate their blood.
A person should consult a doctor before donating to determine if their current medication affects their eligibility to donate. People should continue to take the medication if prescribed by a doctor in order to donate blood.