No matter how long we have been donating blood, (blood transfusions were first introduced in the 1600s) there are still plenty of myths and misunderstandings attached to this selfless act.
Recently, The National Blood Centre of Malaysia (PDN) published an info-graphic to debunk some of the myths related to blood donation.
Here are some of the myths about blood donation and why they are not true:
1. I’m scared that I will gain weight after donating blood!
This is not true. Your weight will not increase after donating blood. You will only be provided with a five-day supply of iron and vitamin supplements after you donate blood. Hence, it will not increase your appetite or make you put on weight.
2. I cannot donate because I’m scared of needles!
Being scared of needles is a common thing. If you are scared of needles or the sight of blood, divert your attention elsewhere. Let the staff know beforehand and you need to distract yourself.
3.What if I lose all my blood after the blood donation?
Everyone has an average of 4 to 7 liters of blood in their bodies. Every donation only requires 450ml of blood. If you weigh between 45kg to 50kg, only 350ml will be withdrawn from you.
4.Donating blood will make my body weak.
Your blood will be back to normal before you know it. Blood donors are advised to have some snacks and drink a lot of water after the donation.
For those who are living in Malaysia, here are some criteria you need to take into account before donating blood:
1. You are healthy
2. Meet the age requirements:
- Must be aged between 18-70 for those who have donated before and be between the ages of 18-60 for those donating for the first time.
- Have your parent’s written consent if you are 17 years old.
3. Weigh at least 45kg
4. Sleep at least 5 hours the night before
5. Eat before donating blood
6. Your last donation was three months before
7. For women, you must not be pregnant, menstruating or breastfeeding
8. For non-Malaysians, you must have lived in Malaysia for at least 1 year.