1. “I’M AFRAID OF NEEDLES.”
Often times, the hardest part about deciding to donate blood is overcoming the fear of the needle stick. Many people actually decide to donate to help get over their fear of needles. The actual drawing process should cause very little, if any, discomfort. The finger prick during the preliminary interview process (required to test your iron level) is usually the only slight discomfort encountered by a blood donor.
2. “OTHERS ARE DONATING ENOUGH.”
37% of the US population is eligible to donate blood, yet only 3% of those eligible actually do. Blood centers
nationwide typically run into blood shortages at various times throughout the year.
4. “THEY WOULDN’T WANT MY BLOOD BECAUSE OF THE ILLNESSES I’VE HAD.”
Many health conditions do not prevent people from donating blood, and the deferral criteria for blood donors is constantly changing, which means that if you were turned down for donation in the past, you may now be eligible to donate. Click here for our general eligibility guidelines.
5. “I’M AFRAID OF CATCHING A DISEASE.”
Donating blood is safer today than it has ever been before. Blood centers follow five layers of safety procedures:
- Careful blood donor eligibility standards
- An individual screening process
- Laboratory testing of all blood samples
- Confidential exclusion of all ineligible donations
- Donor record checks
During the actual donation process, all donors are given a mini-medical check-up, and asked a series of questions to ensure that they are eligible to donate for our community blood supply. All questions asked during this process are required by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
All equipment used in the blood donation process is sterile and disposable (used only once). The needle and all related equipment are disposed of in a specially marked biohazard container immediately following the donation. Therefore, there is no chance of contracting AIDS or any other disease by donating blood.
6. “I DON’T HAVE ANY SPARE BLOOD TO DONATE.”
Blood makes up about seven percent (7%) of your body’s weight, and the average adult has approximately two pints of blood for every 25 pounds of body weight. The body is constantly manufacturing blood. After your whole blood donation, you will not be eligible to donate for 56 days (or eight weeks), during which time your body will completely replenish the blood you have so generously donated. You can give platelets every two weeks, up to 24 times per year, plasma every four weeks, and automated red cells every 112 days.
7. “MY BLOOD ISN’T RICH ENOUGH.”
The minimum hematocrit (iron) level to donate blood is 12.5 for females and 13.0 for males. If you are deferred for low hemoglobin, your collections specialist can review ways in which to increase your iron level. In many cases, your iron level can be increased significantly by some simple changes to your diet.
8. “I’M AFRAID OF BEING TURNED DOWN.”
There are many reasons why you might be deferred from donating blood. Some of these deferrals are permanent, while many of them are only temporary. The deferral criteria for blood donors is constantly changing, which means that if you were turned down for donation in the past, you may now be eligible to donate!
9. “THEY’LL TAKE TOO MUCH BLOOD AND I’LL FEEL WEAK.”
Immediately after your blood donation, you will also be asked to spend a 15 minutes in our canteen area, where you will be served refreshments, cookies and other snacks. This will help replenish some of the sugar and liquids in your body, and help us to ensure that you are feeling well after your donation.
10. “I’M TOO BUSY.”
If you, a family member, a co-worker, a neighbor or a friend were in need of a blood transfusion, would you want to hear this excuse? Donating blood is safe and easy, and takes less than an hour. A single blood donation can help as many as three different people! In what other activity can so little time do so much?