The theme of this year’s World Blood Donor Day – June 14, 2016 is, “Blood connects us all“. It focuses on thanking blood donors.
Everyone has a starting point from some where right? I clearly remembered mine, probably it’s not the fanciest story of them all, but I sure did have a kick start. I was always curious on how does it feel? Will it be so painful that I wouldn’t be able to lift my arms for the next few days?? Or am I gonna put on excessive weight?!
The first time I decided that I wanted to donate blood -It was an emotional roller coaster ride but I was quite determined to go for it because I was mentally prepared. It was a mixed
feeling of determination + overwhelmed + curious + adventurous + fear of needle prick! (I won’t lie on that one) + heart to give back to the community. So here am I, quietly outside the private room, waiting for my turn and- in the meantime friendly faces and welcoming words awaited me as I entered. They shared of their own first time experience into donating and had treated me kindly. I must say, as a first tim-
er I am blessed enough to get an experienced bunch of doctor & nurses to treat me.
I expected to feel fear when I sat down, awaiting the needle, but I only felt a wave of adrenaline and the satisfaction of doing good for others. It went quite smoothly.
It is the greatest feeling in the
world, that your blood will save someone’s life out there. That your blood that you donate gives someone another chance at life. Some day that someone may be a close relative, a friend, a loved one—or even you. And it has been 4 years now since I donated blood, I never turned back.
If you want to save a life, but feels hesitated to do so OR you doubt doing it then let me share a couple of myth vs fact details.
Myth: Donating blood hurts.
Fact: The pain experienced is no more than a needle prick. The slight soreness that remains on the spot where the needle was, is just a reminder of the good deed done.
Myth: HIV or other infections can be contracted from donating blood.
Fact: 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 minimises the chance of infection.
Myth: Giving blood is time consuming.
Fact: The time taken for a single donation session is normally not more than an hour.
Myth: There is limited blood in the body and it is unhealthy to give some away.
Fact: Only about 350-450 ml of blood is taken during a donation session (prior before donating, the nurse would have a full test to check on your body strength). The body produces new blood after donation.
Myth: Can a pregnant lady donate blood?
Fact: No, pregnant women are not allowed to donate blood.
Myth: Can I donate blood, when I have consumed alcohol the day before?
Fact: No, it is not advisable to consume alcohol a day before donating blood.
Myth: Can I donate blood, if I smoke regularly?
Fact: Yes, but abstain from smoking one hour before and after donation.
Myth: Regular blood donation may lead to obesity?
Fact: False. Donating blood does not affect your body weight. However some people, after blood donation, eat more food than normal and avoid exercise which may cause weight gain but it is not directly connected to blood donation.
Feel free to ask me any question about this topic and I will give my best to answer them all. You may have a question that someone else also has, therefore please use the comment section. This way everybody can benefit from the Q&A.
‘So, if you’re a blood donor, you’re a hero to someone, somewhere, who received your gracious gift of life…’
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