Q & A Blood donation

Every day, people need life-saving blood transfusions. These transfusions are possible because people donate their blood. Despite the need for donated blood, many people are afraid to donate. They may have fears about the process, needles or even their own health. Get the facts about blood donation so you can make an informed decision.


More than 4 million lives are saved each year because of blood donations.


Q: Is blood donation safe?

A: Yes. Each donation uses a new, sterile needle that is thrown away after one use. You may also be given a quick health check to be sure you’re healthy enough to donate. This may include taking your temperature, blood pressure and pulse.


Q: What if I don’t like needles?

A: Many people have a fear of needles. But blood donation is a quick process that can help save up to three lives. Facing your fears can mean the world to another person. Try listening to relaxing music, deep breathing or reading a book during your donation. Drinking fluids before donating will make donation easier and faster.


Q: Will I faint afterward?

A: Some people feel lightheaded after donating blood. But most people feel fine afterward. If this concerns you, you can have a few extra minutes to sit or lie down. You can also lower the risk of this happening by eating a healthy meal before your donation and drinking at least 16 ounces of water. When you feel well enough, slowly sit up. Blood donation only takes about 1/10th of the blood from your body. Your body replaces this lost blood quickly.


Q: Don’t they only need rare blood types?

A: Sometimes there is a public appeal for certain blood types. But all blood types are needed and valuable. If you don’t know your blood type, you can find out after your donation.


If you have any health conditions, you can ask your doctor whether blood donation is right for you.


Source: American Heart Association

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