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.

Blood and blood by-products are essential requirements for several patients such as women suffering from a bleeding problem related to pregnancy and childbirth, children suffering from anaemia caused due to malaria, malnutrition, trauma, and accidents and those with blood and bone marrow disorders, genetic disorders, and immune-deficiency problems. This health campaign earmarks a chance to call to action government health authorities to offer needed resources to regulate timely access to blood and proper transfusion of people who need it without any delay.

The slogan for this year is “Donating blood is an act of solidarity. Join the effort and save lives”. The theme is designed by the WHO to emphasise the pivotal roles that voluntary blood donations play in saving millions of lives and improving solidarity within the populace.

Do's Before Blood Donation

The most vital rule is - never donate blood on an empty stomach. Have a nutritious meal about 2-3 hours before donating to maintain blood sugar levels.

Meal timing is also important, as food needs to be digested well before the blood is drawn and eating just before donation may trouble your stomach a bit and make you nauseous.

For a person who regularly donates’ s blood (once every three months), it is vital to eat an iron-rich diet at least a week or two before donating.

Good hydration is vital. The main cause of dizziness and fainting is a drop in blood pressure, so drinking plenty of fluid helps to keep the blood pressure stable.

Do’s After Blood Donation

It is essential to hydrate and refuel with carbohydrate-dense snacks before you start off.

Juice, water, or oral rehydration solutions help to replenish lost fluids, hence keep drinking a lot of fluids for the next 2 days to avert low blood pressure.

Avoid caffeinated drinks and beverages for the next 8 hours since caffeine is a diuretic and may result in fluid loss from the system.

For regular donors, it is essential to load up with B 9 vitamin for a few weeks, as it will help the body to produce new blood cells.


In this article, let us know about popular myths and facts and things to know before blood donation.

Myths And Facts About Blood Donation

1. Myth:

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.

2. Myth:

Blood donation ups the risk of HIV and other infections.


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.

3. Myth:

Blood donation is painful.


It is not an invasive or painful procedure. All that the donor experience is a small prick of the needle and that area heals within a day.

4. Myth:

Donating blood can weaken the immune system.


It certainly won’t interfere with immunity. The red blood cells form within a few days while it takes a few weeks for the white blood cells to return.

5. Myth:

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.