One of the things that keeps many from donating blood is a misunderstanding about their eligibility. In truth, there are very few things that may prevent a healthy person from donating blood. Here are some of the common myths and truths about blood donation:
Myth 10 - I can't give blood because I have seasonal allergies.
Allergies, even those that need to be controlled by medication, will not prevent you from donating blood as long as symptoms are mild and you are generally feeling well.
Myth 9 - I can't give blood because I have high blood pressure.
As long as your blood pressure is below 180 systolic (top number) and 100 diastolic (bottom number) at the time of your donation, you may give blood. Furthermore, medications that you may be taking for high blood pressure do not disqualify you from donating.
Myth 8 - I can't give blood because I have high cholesterol.
A high cholesterol level does not disqualify you from donating–even if medication is used to control it. In fact, when you donate blood with us you will get a FREE cholesterol screening!
Myth 7 - I can't give blood because I had cancer.
While some types of cancer may disqualify you from donating, there are many circumstances under which you may donate blood after an appropriate waiting period.
Myth 6 - I can't give blood because I'm diabetic.
Diabetics may donate blood as long as the other medical requirements are met. However, the use of bovine derived insulin will result in deferral from blood donation.
Myth 5 - I can't give blood because I have epilepsy or seizures.
Epilepsy or seizures do not disqualify you from donating.
Myth 4 - I can't donate because I'm anemic.
Your hematocrit (iron) level will be checked prior to donating blood. As long as levels are normal on the day of donation, you may give.
Myth 3 - I can't give blood because I had a flu shot.
In fact, you may donate blood the same day you receive the vaccination as long as you are feeling well.
Myth 2 - I can't give blood because I'm on medication.
In nearly all cases, medications will not disqualify you as a blood donor. As long as you are healthy and the condition is under control, you will very likely be able to donate.
Myth 1 - I can't give blood because I'm afraid of needles.
Most people do feel a bit of nervousness about blood donation. Most also say after their donation that they're sorry they waited so long. Blood donation is a momentary discomfort for the donor that can provide a lifetime of a difference for the patient.