- I don't like or am scared of needles; I am afraid to give blood.
Many people feel that way at first. However, most donors will tell you that you feel only a slight initial pinch, and 7-10 minutes later, you are finished and headed for the canteen. If you take the time (and courage) to make one donation, you'll wonder why you ever hesitated.
- I am too busy.
The entire process takes about an hour, and the actual blood donation time is only 7-10 minutes. If you stop to think that an hour of your time could mean a lifetime for a premature baby, someone with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, or someone who's had an accident, you might decide that you can make the time to give the gift of life.
- No-one ever asked me ... I didn't realize my blood was needed.
Consider yourself asked! There is simply no other way to supply the blood needs of hospital patients but for the generous donations of people like you. Every two seconds someone in America needs blood.
- I already gave this year.
You can give every 56 days. Many donors give 5 times a year!
- I am afraid I'll get AIDS.
It is not possible to get AIDS by donating blood to the American Red Cross. A new sterile needle is used for each donor and discarded afterwards.
- My blood isn't the right type.
Every type of blood is needed daily to meet patient needs. If you have a common blood type, there are many patients who need it, so it is in high demand. If you have a less common blood type, there are fewer donors available to give it, so it is in short supply.
- I don't have any blood to spare.
The average adult body has 10-12 pints of blood. Doctors say that healthy adults may give regularly because the body quickly replaces the blood you donate.
- I don't want to feel weak afterward.
Donating blood should not adversely affect a healthy adult because your body has plenty of blood. You will donate less than one pint, and your body, which constantly makes new blood, will replace the donated volume within 24 hours. Most people continue their usual activities after donating.
- They won't want my blood. (I am too old. / I've had an illness.)
If you have doubts, check with your physician. The qualified staff on duty at a blood drive will also review your medical history with you. There is no upper age limit to donate blood with the American Red Cross, and a great many medical conditions do not prevent you from donating blood, or may have done so only temporarily in the past.
- I have a rare blood type, so I'll wait until there is a special need.
Blood that is rare or special is almost always in short supply. There is a constant need for these blood types in order to avoid having to recruit specific blood types in a crisis.