It only takes as fast as 20 minutes to become a hero and save someone’s life by donating blood. However, less than one-third of people eligible to donate actually do. Even though it is a life-saving act, not everyone is compatible enough to give blood for various reasons.
There are five explanations why some individuals won’t be able to donate blood.
1. Your Weight Does Not Suit You Enough
Blood donors will qualify if they weigh at least 110 pounds and be physically fit before donating. This weight requirement is necessary to account for the donor’s blood loss. After giving blood, you may feel weakness or, worse, faint if you are underweight or have low iron in your blood.
Additionally, donors below 18 years of age need to meet specific requirements for both height and weight to ensure that there are no discrepancies.
2. Having Recently Had a Case of the Flu
Flu can spread through blood transfusion; hence the Red Cross has this policy to prevent the spread of the flu during blood drives.
If your cough discharges phlegm or you don’t feel well, you should wait to donate blood another day.
3. You are Undergoing Certain Medication
You cannot give blood if you have completed a course of antibiotics or had any type of infection within the last 14 days. This is because some infections can be passed through blood. A donor with a bacterial infection should not donate, so the reasons for taking antibiotics must be evaluated.
4. You Recently Got a Piercing or Tattoo
If you have a piercing, tattoo, or semi-permanent makeup, donating blood can cause a hepatitis virus. To avoid transferring the virus, it is advised that you need to wait at least four months before you can be eligible to donate blood.
Tattoos that are applied in a clean and sterile environment by a licensed professional using fresh needles and ink are generally considered safe.
5. Your Sexual Activity
Those individuals having sexual contact with anyone of the same gender must wait 12 months before giving blood. The same with females whose male partners have had sexual contact with the same gender is ineligible for 12 months.
With the guidelines set by the federal government being revised in years, the waiting period will take longer to reduce the risk of human immunodeficiency virus transmission.
Other causes that you might get unqualified for blood donations are:
- Taking certain acne medications, such as antibiotics.
- Had the necessary immunizations.
- Have received blood transfusions before
- Having an affair with someone who is a drug dependent.
- If you’ve had hepatitis or jaundice in the last year
- Persons identified having a specific type of cancer, or being treated for cancer, are not eligible to donate blood.
- Someone in your family has Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.
There is no bad time to give the gift of life by donating blood. However, there are basic requirements to become eligible to donate blood. You must be at least 17 years old, don’t forget to bring with you the necessary identifications such as a driver’s license or two-form identifications.
Besides these requirements, there are other eligibility variables you need to consider. Being a blood donor holds great accountability for both individuals. Remember that you are not just donating a single bag of blood; you can save lives.