Some FAQs and Myths and Facts About Blood Donation

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Blood can save lives of patients if given (transfused) in time, when there is heavy blood loss, such as in road traffic accidents and major surgical operations. Blood, as on now can not be produced artificially and need to be donated by healthy individuals. You may have several question regarding blood donations. You may not also be aware of certain facts about blood donation and you may be nurturing certain myths, which I think should be cleared. In this article I tried to answer some commonly asked questions and clear some myths associated with blood donation.

How often a person can donate blood?

This is a frequently asked question in regards to blood donation. There are many misconceptions regarding this question. It is recommended and advised by doctors that a healthy person can donate blood every three months. A gap of three months is recommended in between two blood donations by same person. Although it takes approximately two months for red blood cells to be replaced, after blood donation. Gap of three months ensures replacement of red blood cells as well as hemoglobin level in blood and cause no ill effect on health.

How much blood can be donated at a time?

Normally one unit or 350 ml of blood is taken during blood donation from a person. But a person can donate more than that amount without any health problem. A person can donate 10% to15% of total blood at a time. A healthy person generally has 5-6 liters of blood and can donate 700-800 ml (approximately 2 units) of blood at a time. To be on safer side doctors allow and advise one unit or 350 ml blood donation at a time.

How long is the process of blood donation?

Whole process of blood donation takes approximately 30 minutes. A medical check-up is done before blood donation, including blood grouping and test of bleeding time. After this, the donor rest for 10-15 minutes before donating blood.

Some tips on blood donation:

  • Take good meal approximately 3 hours before blood donation and also few hours after blood donation.
  • Do not consume alcohol for at least 48 hours prior to blood donation.
  • Do not smoke before blood donation, however one can smoke few hours after donation.

Some myths and facts about blood donation:

Myth: One feels tired and drained after blood donation.

Fact: If you drink adequate fluid and have good meal you will not feel tired or drained.

Myth: After donating blood, you may have low blood volume.

Fact: Even after donating 350 ml blood one have surplus blood left and no question of low level of blood after donation. A healthy person can donate 10% of total blood and an average healthy person has 5-6 liters of blood and can easily donate 500-600 ml of blood without any problem.

Myth: One may get HIV/AIDS by donating blood.

Fact: One can never get HIV/AIDS by donating blood, although recipients of donated blood may get HIV.

Myth: One can not perform normal activity after blood donation.

Fact: One can resume normal activity after blood donation, although it is advised not to start exercise or heavy duty for at least 12 hours.

Myth: one may faint after blood donation.

Fact: you will never faint after blood donation.

Myth: I have a common blood group, so there are many people to donate blood, hence I do not need to donate blood.

Fact: As you have common blood group the demand for your blood group is also high due to larger number of patients requiring the same blood group you have.

This post is written by Jpritor Chakma, who blogs in his Health Blog:, visit his health blog for more updates on health issues.

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  1. Jim Calaman

    I have to disagree with one of your myths. I fainted one time after I gave blood and that was the last time I donated. I know I should give again because of the shortages but I have been hesitant. Maybe I’ll give it a shot.
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  2. Chris

    I may not faint AFTER giving blood, but fainting before is a definite possibility!
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  3. Mitz Pantic

    I have had a blood transfusion and I now try and get my friends and family to donate blood…I had 5 bags of beautiful blood and was doing cartwheels on my way out of the hospital.
    My dad went to donate blood and they told him he was too old…What a bummer because he has O type which is really needed.
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  4. Our bod weight should be at list 50KG to donate blood and because which they didn’t let me donate. :( I am just eagerly waiting when I am going to gain some weight then I will go for blood donation.
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  5. David Cornick

    I live in Australia, and the Red Cross is always desperately short of blood donors.It is not the getting of blood in this country ,it is finding the volunteers.I give blood on a semi regular basis,and have found it hard to convince any of my friends/family to do the same
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  6. Patrece says:

    Thank you for sharing this post, it’s very encouraging. I’m thinking of donating my blood (with all my heart) if there is any opportunity to do so.
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  7. you provided a healthy article here Jupitor. blood donating is a charitable experience for someone who does. keep posting Jupitor!
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  8. Charles says:

    Great article with solid information! The only problem is my epic fear and hatred for needles! I won’t even pretend to act tough about it!
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  9. If your fear for needles is epic proportion, I fear you may not be able to donate blood, a charitable task.
    Anyway you can still encourage your friends to do so or join groups which are engaged in free blood donation and contribute to it.
    Jupitor Chakma recently posted..Causes of Excess Hair Loss or AlopeciaMy Profile

  10. Aarti says:

    Informative post, I too donate blood but only twice in a year. I think I need to donate at least 4 times. Thanks for clearing so many myths and doubts.
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  11. briant says:

    Some of the myths are just funny, like getting HIV by donating blood, although sometimes maybe it’s possible when they reuse needles.. but that’s something that wouldn’t happen. Right?
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  12. annelg

    My husband donates blood. They’ve recently called home to ask him for some platelets. I was a bit taken aback because I didn’t expect them to call begging for his life line. It seemed bizarre. He’s got AB rhesus negative – very rare blood time, so he seems to be in demand.
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  13. Liana says:

    Can you imagine how you can make a difference in your own healthy ways. You can help others and keep yourself healthy at the same time. I rather give than receive as much as possible. You know I’d like to avoid HIV.
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  14. Norm says:

    I agree that fainting after giving blood is not a myth. Or at least getting light-headed after giving. This has happened to me more than once and as a result I only give blood with a buddy to make sure I get home safely! I think it’s great for people to donate who are able to. It really can save lives.
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  15. Kelly Schwarz

    Interesting article dispelling many myths – some of which I believed to be fact! One question though – is it ok to partake in HEAVY exercise soon after donating blood? Or is it best to wait 24 hours or so?

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  16. Sounds interesting! I particularly don’t believe on myths, I agree most of the facts about donating blood. I think no doctors will allow you to donate blood that is not undergo with any examinations and test that you are compatible to donate blood.
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  17. I didn’t know those facts. Anyway thatks for that.
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  18. Ricardus

    Thanks for the facts. Now i know some real myths and facts about blood donation :)
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  19. Thomas

    Hi Juiptor,
    I also have to disagree with the myth about feeling faint after donating blood. There is a drop in blood pressure after donating blood and one of the symptoms of low blood pressure is feeling faint. This can be counteracted to some degree by drinking a pint of water about half an hour before donating blood. I have very low blood pressure and because of this I do not give blood.
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  20. Jim says:

    As a former Army medic, I have to say that you’ve put an excellent article together. But… you can never get AIDS from donating blood is a fallacy. I’d use the phrase ‘highly unlikely’ as there is always a possibility, even though it’s a million to one shot, that a contaminated needle could be used in the process.
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