29 June, 2019
World Blood Donor Day is celebrated every year on June 14 to thank blood donors who save lives every day. It also encourages people all over the world to donate blood voluntarily. It is one of the eight global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).
October 1, on the other hand, is celebrated as the National Voluntary Blood Donation Day in India to raise awareness about the importance of blood donation. It was started in 1975 through the Indian Society of Blood Transfusion and Immunohematology.
There are some very common myths regarding blood donation that prevent people from coming forward and donating blood regularly.
Fact : The needle prick is the only pain one feels when donating blood. The area on the arm heals within a day or two. The weakness post donating blood can be dealt with by drinking plenty of water and eating.
Fact : You can donate even if you are a smoker. However, you must be at least 18 years old and weigh at least 50 kilograms. Also, you should avoid smoking for three hours after donating blood and also stay away from alcohol for 24 hours prior to donating blood.
Fact : There is no such lasting danger to the immune system when you donate blood. While the Red Blood Cells return to normal within a few days, the White Blood Cells take a few weeks, However, if the body finds itself in danger, they can be produced quickly.
Fact : Blood donation takes 45 minutes to an hour, only. The donation process itself takes barely 10-12 minutes, but the entire process from filling out forms to taking refreshments after donation takes that amount of time.
Fact : Blood donation doesn't affect your body weight at all, it remains unchanged unless you decide to reward yourself with too much junk post-donation -- and that, my friend, is your responsibility and has nothing to do with blood donation, so stop finding excuses.
Fact : What even? As long as you weigh above 50 kgs, donating blood has nothing more to do with your weight -- only because a person below that weight would probably have to face relatively more weakness issues than a person who is above 50 kgs. Also, your weight has nothing to do with the amount of blood your body produces!
Fact : You cannot donate blood only and only if you take supplements to fix your diabetes, like insulin. You CAN donate blood if you control your diabetes with the help of lifestyle changes and pills. Those who have heart problems and blood pressure from type 2 diabetes, however, might not be able to donate in exceptional cases.
Fact : Those with blood pressure between 180 systolic and 100 diastolic can very well donate blood. This frame might be considered high, but it does not isolate you from donating blood. Moreover, blood pressure medicines do not interfere with the process at all.
Fact : Seasonal allergies do not interfere with blood donation, just like any other mild cold and cough does not affect your daily routine. So, "I have a cold," is an absolutely lame excuse for not giving your blood to someone who needs it.
Fact : Well, whatever is ever FOR women? No, seriously, how does blood have anything to do with gender? Women bleed every month anyway, so they shouldn't? The logical argument could be that women have a lower haemoglobin count than men due to their biological setup. Women naturally survive in lower haemoglobin levels. So, blood donation affects them the same way that it would affect a man. Thus, unless women are pregnant, lactating, anaemic, or suffering from some medical issue that lowers haemoglobin count -- they can donate blood.
Fact : A fresh needle is used for each blood donor. So, there is no chance of an infection that is usually assumed to be transferred from needles -- like HIV -- from blood donation.
Fact : You can resume your daily activities almost right after donating blood as long as you make sure you drink enough water and juices to replenish your body fluids. You should also avoid alcohol and direct sunlight for 24 hours. But, donating blood doesn't give you enough of an excuse to bunk your daily chores!
Fact : It's usually assumed that vegetarians have lesser amounts of iron in their bodies, which is directly linked to our body's haemoglobin. However, your choice of a vegetarian or non-vegetarian diet doesn't decide your eligibility for blood donation.
Although meat-based foods are typically higher in iron count which is responsible for the haemoglobin creation, the Indian vegetarian's diet has a lot of sources for adequate iron such as green leafy veggies.
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