6 Myths About Blood Donation
By Ma. Vanessa L. Estinozo
Philippine Red Cross Blood Services Director Dr. Christie Monina M. Nalupta dispels some active myths about blood donation:
I can’t donate because I’m anemic.
Your hemoglobin (iron) level will be checked prior to donating blood. As long as levels are normal on the day of donation, you may give.
I can’t give blood because I have high blood pressure.
As long as your blood pressure is below 180 systolic (first number) and 100 diastolic (second number) at the time of your donation, you may give blood. Furthermore, medications that you may be taking for high blood pressure do not disqualify you from donating.
I can’t give blood because I had a flu shot.
In fact, you may donate blood the same day you receive the vaccination.
There is limited blood in the body and it is unhealthy to give some away.
Only about 350-450ml of blood is taken during a donation session. There is enough blood in the body to donate it without any ill effects. The body makes new blood after donation.
You cannot take part in sports or other physical activities after donating blood.
Giving blood does not interfere with ability to perform physically. Advice to avoid heavy lifting or strenuous workouts for the rest of the day is given after the donation. You can get back on track the next day.
HIV or other infections can be contracted from donating blood.
A clear procedure exists for taking blood from each donor. Sterility is maintained at all steps. A sterile, new needle is used for each donation and is then properly discarded. Use of sterile equipment and technique limits the chance of infection.