(Image Source: Australian Red Cross Blood Service)
Myth: Donating blood hurts
This is the most common myth amongst people who haven’t donated before. Donating blood barely hurts- the only pain you’ll experience will be no more than a needle prick. The nurses are trained professionals that are very good at what they do, and make every effort to ensure that your donating experience is pleasant.
Myth: I have to rest for a day after I’ve donated blood
Your energy levels won’t be affected when you donate blood. Yes, this means that you’ll have no excuse to skip your class the day after.
As long you eat a decent meal beforehand and drink plenty of water throughout the day, you should be fine. However, it is recommended that you avoid high- energy activities 12 hours after your donation.
Myth: I have diabetes, I can’t donate blood
As long as you have no complications with your diabetes and haven’t used bovine (cattle-derived) insulin in the past, you should have no problems donating blood. If you are unsure about your eligibility, give the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Medical Services a call on 13 14 95.
If you’re still concerned on the day of your donation, the staff will be more than happy to help you.
Myth: Donating blood isn’t safe
Donating blood is a very safe process. In fact, Australia’s blood services are some of the safest in the world.
Each donation is collected through a new, sterile needle that is used once and then discarded. Further, every donor is put through a screening process every time they donate blood which is designed to keep the donor and the person who receives the donation safe.
Myth: Donating blood takes a long time
The whole blood donation process takes about an hour from arrival to resting. Once you fill in the questionnaire and are screened by staff, the process of donating only takes about 5-10 minutes in total. Afterwards, it is recommended that you rest for a further 15 minutes.
Myth: They take out a lot of my blood
Only about 10% of your total blood volume is taken when you donate blood. Regardless of whether you donate blood or not, your body is continually replenishing your blood all the time, so this amount is quickly replaced.
Myth: I can’t give blood because I’m scared of needles
It’s perfectly normal to feel scared or nervous when you donate blood for the first time. In fact most people (including us!) feel anxious the first time. However, it’s a momentary discomfort for the bloody good deed of saving someone’s life.
Myth: I can’t donate blood because I’m on medication
Most prescribed medications don’t prevent someone from donating blood. However, you should always inform staff about what medications you’re taking. If you want to find about whether you’re eligible, give the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Medical Services a call on 13 14 95.
For more information visit the Australian Red Cross Blood Service FAQs: http://www.donateblood.com.au/faq
Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Frequently Asked Questions, n.d, http://www.donateblood.com.au/faq