Today is World Blood Donor Day and it was established by World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness about the importance of blood donation and to recognize the service of regular blood donors.
The day is also observed in honour of Nobel Laureate Dr Karl Landsteiner, an Austrian physician and biologist for discovering and classifying ABO blood groups, paving a way for blood transfusion and July 14 also happens to be his birthday.
Donating blood is a noble deed and if you are a regular blood donor, it means you are saving many lives.
In India, the demand for blood transfusion arises for every 2 seconds. On an average, the need for blood is at 4 crore units while only 40 lakh units of blood are available. Besides lack of understanding and awareness, several myths and facts are associated with a blood donation that could be discouraging healthy people from turning into blood donors.
In this article, let us know about popular myths and facts and things to know before blood donation.
Vegetarians cannot donate blood.
Healthy vegetarians with good amounts of iron can always donate blood. It usually takes a month’s time for the body to replenish the donated blood.
Blood donation ups the risk of HIV and other infection.
Not true as sterility is the first and foremost step during blood donation. Doctors always ensure using a sterile, new needle for each donation. All old needles get discarded.
Blood donation is painful.
It is not an invasive or painful procedure. All that the donor experience is small prick of the needle and that area heals within a day.
Donating blood can weaken the immune system.
It certainly won’t interfere with immunity. The red blood cells form with in few days while it takes few weeks for the white blood cells to return.
Diabetics cannot donate blood.
If you are a diabetic and your sugar levels are under control, i.e. fasting blood sugar is normal, you can turn into a blood donor. However, if you are a cardiac patient, suffer from hypoglycemia symptoms or have blood sugar levels in the pre-diabetes range, talk to your doctor if you can donate blood.