How Much Do You Know about This Life-Saving Practice?

Blood drop showing the different types of blood for blood donation
Donating blood is a simple and safe way to make a difference in people’s lives.

Every two seconds in the U.S., someone requires a blood transfusion. There is always a need for blood and platelets. That’s why donating blood can make a big difference in the lives of others. Don’t let these misconceptions about blood donation stop you from giving this life-saving gift.

Many people don’t give blood because they’re misinformed about the risks involved in donating or don’t realize they’re eligible to donate. In fact, less than 10% of people who can donate blood actually do so, according to the American Red Cross.

How does the blood donation process work?

Check out these common beliefs about blood donations, and see if you can separate MYTH versus FACT:

It takes your body a long time to replace the blood that you donate.

Myth. The average adult has about 10 pints of blood in their body. Only one pint is collected during blood donation and your body quickly replaces what is lost. If you drink enough fluids, blood volume returns within a few hours. The plasma is replaced in about 24 hours and red cells are completely replaced in 4-6 weeks.

You can donate blood every month as long as you’re in good health.

Myth. You are eligible to donate whole blood every 8 weeks (56 days).

Donate Blood Today!

Schedule your appointment to donate blood with the local American Red Cross.

If you have Type O negative blood, your blood is especially needed.

Fact. Type O negative is the universal donor blood type because it can be given to people with any blood type. There’s always a need for this type of blood because it’s what medical personnel use in emergency situations when there’s no time to determine the blood type of the patient.

You have to be over age 21 to donate blood.

Myth. Many states require donors to be at least 17 years old. Some states allow 16-year-olds to donate with parental consent. You must also weigh at least 110 pounds.

You are at risk of contracting HIV, hepatitis or other infections when you give blood.

Myth. Donating blood is safe. A new sterile needle and bag are used each time someone donates blood. Strict procedures and the use of sterile equipment make it highly unlikely you’ll develop an infection of any kind during blood donation.

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