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John Kang WebMD | Blood Donation Separating Fact from Fiction

John Kang WebMD | Blood Donation Separating Fact from Fiction

John Kang WebMD says one of the many types of medical attention after disasters and accidents is having enough supply to replace lost blood of the victims. Blood banks and donation centers keep on popping out in different areas. However, there are still things and misconceptions about blood donation that needs to be straightened out. This is where medical experts like John Kang WebMD come in.

Blood from fresh donations is best

This myth may have stemmed from the early history of blood donations and blood banks. During the First and Second World Wars, John Kang WebMD says blood transfusion may have been instantaneous, since soldiers need the replace lost blood as soon as possible. However, with the advent of new technology in blood banks, storage has been optimized for up to 42 days to maximize usage of the red blood cells. Image Source:

However, John Kang WebMD says although blood supplies may have been stored for a time, it doesn’t mean that it will be harmful to anyone when used. Its chemical composition may have degraded over time, but it can still be safely used for blood transfusion.

You can get sick

Most blood banks and donation centers are licensed to safely operate. They undergo stringent processes to ensure the health and safety of blood donors. Guidelines for safe donation and transfusion are reviewed regularly, and medical safety steps like using sterile equipment, operating with trained staff, and others are strictly implemented.

You have an underlying condition

Those with medical situations can still donate blood, as long as their conditions allow it. For example, John Kang WebMD states diabetics can still donate as long as they are stable and their diabetes is in control. For those with heart condition or had a stroke, they can start donating blood once they are off medications and have stable conditions.

Even age is only a minor factor in blood donation. Teens as young as 16 years old can start to donate. Meanwhile, there is no known age bracket for blood donors, and those in advanced ages can still donate as long as their condition allow.

Gay men can’t donate blood

While gay men can donate blood, there are special conditions to consider, as per the Foods and Drugs Administration. According to FDA policies, those who are in a relationship of those men having sex with men (MSM) must wait at least 12 months after their last sexual contact before donating.

The special conditions stemmed from the HIV/AIDS scare during the 1980s. Because HIV was prevalent among gay men back then, the FDA issued a blanket ban on blood donations from MSM. However, the policy was revised in 2015, deferring the ban into the present 12-month policy.

Health declines after donation

As with any activity, there is a recovery period after donating blood. Those who are healthy prior to donation will have shorter recovery period. While it is advisable to rest after donating, the lost fluids will be replaced hours after the activity. Meanwhile, John Kang WebMD says the red blood cells will be replenished after 3-4 days, while the white blood cells take longer to regenerate – about three weeks.