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World Blood Donation Day – Top 13 FAQs on Blood Donation

Last Updated On: 09/06/2020

A noble humanitarian act of
blood donation has the potential to save many lives that need blood transfusion. In fact, a unit of blood donated has the potential to save three lives. In India, every 2 seconds, someone requires blood, and more than 38000 blood donations are needed every year. Patients with sickle cell disease or cancer require regular blood transfusions and some accident patients may require as many as 100 units of blood. Since blood cannot be manufactured, these patients depend on donors to save their lives. So, as you gear up for this honorable task yourself, this blog helps in answering a few common questions regarding blood donation.


Q1. Can I donate blood? Am I eligible? 

People less than 18 years of age are not allowed to donate blood in India. Only healthy individuals with weigh above 45 kg are allowed to donate blood as it takes around 4 - 8 weeks to recover completely after blood donation.

Individuals with any chronic diseases like cancer, cardiac disease, severe lung disease, hepatitis B and C, HIV infection, chronic alcoholism, or any other major disease are not allowed to donate blood.

Some temporary conditions may also prevent you from donating blood like body or ear piercing, pregnancy or breastfeeding, acute fever or infection, recent alcohol intake, or surgery. In case you are on any medication, it is advisable to get it reviewed before donating blood as blood thinners like anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs may prevent you from donating blood.

Q2. What are the benefits of donating blood?

Donating blood improves the health of the donor as it helps in revealing potential health problems. It helps in reducing harmful iron stores and prevents the occurrence of hemochromatosis. The risk of developing cancer is reduced and your liver and pancreas will stay healthier too. It also helps in reducing obesity and improves overall cardiovascular health.

Q3. What are the side effects of donating blood?

While most donors do not experience any side effects, some people are known to show some symptoms after blood donation. The side effects of donating blood include nausea and dizziness and fainting in some cases. You may develop a raised bump or experience continued bleeding and bruising at the needle site too. Some people might experience pain and physical weakness after donating blood.

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Q4. How much blood should you donate?

Normally, one unit of blood, that is 350ml, is collected from a healthy individual when the whole blood is collected. An adult normally has 5 – 6 litres of blood and can safely donate 350 ml once every 3 months.

Q5. Is it healthy to give blood?

Blood donation is a healthy process. The human body can replenish the blood donated in 4 to 8 weeks,while the blood plasma gets replenished within 48 hours. Donating blood helps in clearing the harmful iron deposits in the body,which helps in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. With blood replenishing by itself,the pancreas and liver can stay healthy too.

Q6. Does giving blood lower your immune system?

Giving blood reduces the red blood cells and may lead to a temporary drop in certain immune cells such as circulating serum protein and antibodies. But if your body needs these antibodies,it will produce them extremely quickly and the blood will return to a normal state within a few weeks.

Q7. Does donating blood clean your system?

Donating blood helps in reducing the harmful iron deposits in the body and prevents hemochromatosis. Regularly donating blood helps in keeping a check on the body’s iron stores,thereby reducing the risk of heart attack. After blood donation,the body replaces the blood volume within 48 hours,which helps it to become healthier and work more efficiently. Also, according to Mental Health Foundation, donating blood improves mental health by reducing stress,enhancing the emotional well being, minimizing negative thoughts and infusing a sense of belongingness by helping others in need.

Q8. Do blood donors live longer?

Blood donors live a healthy life as they get regularly checked for any health problems and their risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer decreases too. Your liver and pancreas stay healthier,which in turn means that your chances of living longer become higher.

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Q9. Why should you not donate blood?

A person with low blood count or low blood pressure should refrain from donating blood. In case you have an infection or you are suffering from common cough and cold,you should not donate blood,as it may transfer the infection to the recipient of the blood. Also,in case you have recently been treated with antibiotics,you should not donate blood. If you are underweight,you should not donate blood as the risk of nausea or fainting is high. In case you had a body piercing or a tattoo done,you should not donate blood as the risk of transferring hepatitis infection is high.

Q10. Can a diabetic donate blood?

Diabetics on insulin are advised to not give blood,but diabetic patients without any complications from diabetes are allowed to donate blood. In case your blood glucose level is within range,you can go for blood donation. But,in case of any kidney related problems,eye or blood vessel related problem,you may not be allowed to donate blood.

Q11. How do you not pass out when giving blood?

Before blood donation, drink lots of fluids and have a healthy snack. The meals before donating blood should be normal and regular. Avoid hot shower and overheated or stuffy environments. Avoid high or vigorous exercise and standing for long periods. Have a good night’s rest before the day of donation. In case you feel dizzy, lie down so that the blood flows to the brain, which will help in preventing fainting. Sitting down with head lowered forward between the knees can also help in better blood circulation to the brain. It is advisable to increase the intake of iron-rich foods after blood donation for quicker recovery.

Q12. Can I give blood if I smoke?

People who smoke are allowed to donate blood,but it is advised to avoid smoking 12 hours before donating blood. Also,it is advised to not smoke at least 3 hours after donating blood. This is because smoking can lead to an increase in the blood pressure,which may harm you while donating blood. And smoking after donating blood may lead to fainting or dizziness.

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Q13. How often can I donate blood?

Since the blood completely replenishes itself within 4 – 8 weeks,you can donate blood every 56 days. You are allowed to donate plasma every 28 days,up to 13 times a year,and platelets can be donated once every 7 days,up to 24 times a year. Red blood cells can only be donated 3 times a year,with a gap of 112 days in between.

Hence,the act of blood donation is not only noble and humane,but it can also help you live a healthier life by getting checked for diseases regularly. So, health insurance in advance,so that in case you are diagnosed with any illness,you can get the best treatment possible without draining your savings.

Disclaimer:The above information is for illustrative purpose only. For more details,please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.

This blog has been written by Diwaker Asthana Health Insurance industry experience of 20 Years

Diwaker Asthana recommends buying my:health Suraksha Insurance to get the benefit of a wide range of coverage that the plan offers.For some unique benefits like cashless home health care and in-patient treatment for mental illness,he believes this plan will benefit customers in the long run.


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