When’s the last time you donated blood? If you’re a stranger to blood donation, or haven't done so in a while, there’s probably something that keeps you from walking into a donation station. We’ve pinpointed some common myths to debunk them for you.
1. Isn’t there enough blood?
According to The Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service, around 15,000 fewer Hong Kongers chose to donate blood in 2017 compared to 2016. The number of first-time blood donors also fell 8.3 percent to 33,626. As of now, at least 1,100 bags of blood must be collected daily to meet demand from the city’s hospitals, making it important that we do our part on a regular basis.1
2. Vegetarians cannot donate blood. It’s a myth that vegetarians are unable to donate blood because of a lack of iron. Iron-rich vegetables such as spinach and lentils contain more than enough to meet daily needs. A vegetarian’s body takes no more than one month to replenish the body’s iron stores.2
3. Giving blood interferes with physical performance.
In any single blood donation session, no more than 450 ml of blood is taken, which is not enough to interfere with physical performance. It is prudent to avoid particularly intense exercise or heavy lifting right after the donation, but you’ll be fighting fit by the next day.
Your blood can be used to treat chronic illnesses such as anemia and cancer, and timely blood transfusions is essential for victims of traumatic accidents. It’s just a pinprick for donors but your action could go a long way towards helping to save a life. The momentary discomfort is well worth it. Don’t you agree?