India is a land of a billion people. But, surprisingly few people turn up at blood donation camps to donate blood. Why? All we can assume is that, it’s because of some nagging mind blocks. People are scared about everything-from feeling weak after donating blood, to the fear of contracting AIDS while donating blood.

Which begs the question, is blood donation safe after all?

All we can say is that blood donation is as safe as everyday tasks like crossing the road or reading the newspaper. The average human adult has 5-6 litres of blood, and blood donation generally involves giving about 400 to 500 ml of blood, which is only about 7% of a person’s total blood. The average human body has the capability to regenerate this in 20-59 days. Medically, this poses almost no risk to the average human (A study of 194,000 donations found only one donor with long-term complications). Even though everyone is screened prior to each donation, it’s strongly advised that you consult your doctor before donating blood.

But, what about the risk of contracting AIDS?

That risk is almost non-existant as needles are changed and sterilized before every donation. Also, all transfusions are first checked for HIV, so the recepient isn’t at risk too.

Sure, the donor will feel a little weak and dizzy after the donation, but this generally lasts for an hour or two at the maximum, and doesn’t pose any health risk. But, unless told otherwise by your physician, blood donation poses no risks at all.

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