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DEBUNKING 5 MAJOR BLOOD DONATION MYTHS
19 June 2019
They say donate blood, donate a life. Yet, in India, the blood donation statistics tell a very different story. Picture this:
- There are less than 3 blood banks for every 10 lakh population.
- India fell short of 1.9 million units of blood in 2016-17- This could have aided 320,000 surgeries and 49,000 organ transplants.
- While some states like Delhi are able to accumulate 233% extra blood, others like Bihar face a deficit of as much as 85%.
- One major cause of this shortfall could be inexplicable myths surrounding blood donation. These myths have spread due to lack of awareness and facts. Let’s look at the top 5 myths and debunk them. Once and for all.
BLOOD DONORS TURN OBESE
The correlation between blood donation and your body weight is not a proven fact. But you may want to keep a check on your calorie intake post blood donation and not eat too much junk in order to regain energy. Our advice - start donating blood and stop making excuses.
WOMEN CANNOT DONATE BLOOD
Reports suggest there is only one woman per ten blood donors in India. Blood donation has nothing to do with your gender. This myth comes from the fact that women have a lower haemoglobin count as compared to men. Despite this, women can donate their blood unless they are pregnant, underweight, are menstruating or have extremely low levels of haemoglobin.
I CAN DONATE BLOOD ONLY ONCE A YEAR
This is another classic myth, which has no factual relevance. One of the reasons for this myth is the belief that blood donation can weaken your immune system, which again has no scientific or medical proof. In fact, you can donate every three to six months as your blood is produced back within 7 to 14 days of donation. The bottom line - donate blood more often and save more lives.
BLOOD DONATION IS TIME CONSUMING AND PAINFUL
You must have undergone a blood test once, at least once. It feels like a prick as the needle injects and the blood fills up in the vial. That’s exactly the same degree of pain you’ll feel during an average blood donation. What about time? All-in-all, it might take an hour for various formalities like filling forms to consuming refreshments after blood donation. The actual process hardly takes a few minutes.
I AM A VEGETARIAN, SO BLOOD DONATION IS NOT FOR ME
If that was the case, millions around India and the world would not be able to donate blood. The fact of the matter is that your diet has nothing to do with blood donation. Yes, a non-veg diet has more iron, which is an important ingredient for the regeneration of blood cells. However, there is plenty of iron in the Indian vegetarian diet, thanks to whole grains, legumes and green leafy vegetables like spinach.
The bottom line - we spend an hour on social media or chatting with our friends. Why not take out some time out and save a life instead.