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There are several reasons as to why people choose to donate blood, but there are several more as to why people don’t. Whether fueled by fear or a handful of misconceptions, many people opt out of donating blood when they could be saving a life and helping to replenish the blood shortages.
If you don’t donate blood, what is your reason? Here are some common “excuses”:
Fear of Needles
A fear of needles, or Trypanophobia, is a very real fear that affects about 20% of people. The fear can stem from a bad experience or simply being afraid of pain or the sight of blood. If you’re afraid of needles, you can overcome your fear.
Consider the following tips: Although there may be some pain, when you’re stuck with a needle, the pain is only temporary. Additionally, if you tell the nurse or phlebotomist, that you’re cautious of needles (they encounter people with Trypanophobia all the time) and they will use their professional skills to make it as painless as possible.
There’s Enough Blood Being Donated
If there was a large enough blood supply, there would be no need for blood drives. In winter months, in particular, there are shortages in donations because inclement weather makes it more difficult for some to get to a blood drive. Here’s another reason to always consider donating blood, blood is perishable. Whole blood has a shelf-life of 42 days and platelets have a shelf-life of 5 days.
You’ve Already Donated This Year
Many people who donate blood annually think that they can only donate a few times a year. Here’s the good news, you can donate blood every 56 days. Afraid you don’t have enough to spare? If you’re healthy, your blood replenishes shortly after you donate.
Afraid of Being Too Old to Donate Blood
Although you need to be 17 years old to donate blood (although some states will allow 16 year olds to donate with parental consent), you’re never too old to donate blood. If you have any concerns about your age or health, you can ask any of the qualified staff at a blood drive.
Not Enough Time in the Day
Everybody is busy, but anyone that truly wants to donate blood can find time in their day. The entire process of donating blood takes about an hour or less and the actual blood donation time is about ten minutes. Not only does the process take a short amount of time, but one donation can help up to 3 or 4 different people. Think about all the things you do in an hour, such as watching television, reading a book, or spending your time of Facebook. If you or someone you loved needed a blood transfusion, wouldn’t you hope that someone had an hour to spare?